Australian equities have defied conventional wisdom this year. During Monday’s Asian session, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 hit a five-year high.
Stocks in the world’s 12th-largest economy have climbed despite some trying times for emerging markets (China is Australia’s largest export market), slack commodities demand, a dollar that is broadly considered overvalued and concern that other sectors beyond mining and materials are not contributing enough to economic growth. [Interesting Views on Aussie Dollar ETFs]
None of that has derailed Australia ETFs and these funds still sport tidy dividend yields despite the Reserve Bank of Australia’s scorched earth rate-cutting campaign. Over the past two years, RBA has slashed rates by 225 basis points. However, Australia’s benchmark overnight cash rate of 2.5%, while low by the country’s standards, is high relative to much of the developed world.
Higher still is the 6.62% trailing 12-month yield on the WisdomTree Australia Dividend Fund (NYSEArca: AUSE). AUSE may not get the attention it deserves in the Australia ETF conversation, but that has not prevented a 90-day gain of nearly 12%.