EM ETFs' Tepid Performance to Continue into 2014 | ETF Trends

Emerging market stocks have fallen behind U.S. equities this year, and the underperformance could continue into the next. However, there are a few bright spots that exchange traded fund investors can hone in on.

Credit Suisse projects the MSCI EM Index will only gain 6% by the end of 2014, reports Shuli Ren for Barron’s.

“Despite relatively attractive valuations, we believe emerging equities performance will continue to be constrained by: (i) a moderating EM/DM GDP growth differential (now the lowest in over a decade); (ii) inferior value creation owing to mostly wage growth-related margin contraction; (iii) structural longer-term appreciation pressure on the US dollar; and (iv) the shift to a post-QE environment of significantly lower net portfolio inflows,” analysts Alexander Redman and Arun Sai said in the article.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), which tracks the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, is down 5.6% year-to-date.

Nevertheless, investors can still find opportunities in some emerging market countries. For instance, Credit Suisse singles out some areas it likes, including South Korea, India, China, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

Chinese stocks are improving on economic reforms in the Third Plenum. The iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI) has gained 8.8% over the past three months. [November Reign for China ETFs]