An emerging markets chill rattled U.S. stocks as January, a month historically kind to the bulls, turned out to be the worst of any month for U.S. stocks since May 2012. It was also the worst January performance in 24 years.
Blame emerging markets. Heading into the start of Friday’s trading session all of the 10 worst non-leveraged ETFs to start the year were emerging markets ETFs. As we’ve recently noted, that list of developing world offenders knows no regional, but Latin America has dubiously heavy presence on the list. [Brazil ETFs Hunt for Bottoms]
Given the weakness permeating the emerging markets complex this week, it comes as no surprise that the most searched ticker on ETF Trends this week was the iShares MSCI Turkey ETF (NYSEArca: TUR). On Tuesday, the Turkish central bank raised its overnight lending rate to 12% from 7.75% and more than doubled the overnight borrowing rate to 8% to 3.5% in one of the boldest moves by any central bank in recent memory to defend a flailing currency. [Hope for the Turkey ETF]
On Friday, TUR closed just 89 cents above its 52-week low. Global ETFs joining TUR on our 10 most searched list this week include the iShares MSCI Frontier 100 ETF (NYSEArca: FM), the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) and the Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (NYSEArca: IDX).
Earlier in the week, Indonesia, was upgraded by Morgan Stanley to equalweight from underweight. Stocks there and those tracked by the frontier markets in FM have been noticeably less bad than EEM to start the year. In fact, FM is slightly higher on the year. [Help for Indonesia ETFs]
Three bond ETFs found their way into our top 10 list for the week, led by the PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (NYSEArca: BKLN). The appearance of the iShares Emerging Markets High Yield Bond ETF (NYSEArca: EMHY) was not surprising given that fund’s weights to Turkey, Indonesia and Venezuela. The appearance of the db X-Trackers Municipal Infrastructure Revenue Bond Fund (NYSEArca: RVNU) could be a sign investors are looking for new, more tactical ways to approach municipal bonds. [A Lower Risk Muni Bond ETF]
Also in the no surprise column are the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (NYSEArca: XBI) and the Market Vectors Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX). XBI and GDX are two of this year’s top 10 non-leveraged ETFs and have been making regular appearances on our weekly most searched reviews.
Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of EEM.