Even with a few minor bumps along the way, Europe exchange traded funds impressed in the first quarter and on multiple fronts at that.
Not only did the Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEArca: VGK) finish the quarter as the top asset-gathering ETF, but it outpaced the S&P 500 by 130 basis points. The WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund (NYSEArca: DFE) continued its stellar run, surging nearly 10%, outperforming the Russell 2000 by better than four-to-one. [The Best Europe ETF Again]
The SPDR EURO STOXX 50 Fund (NYSEArca: FEZ) was no shrinking violet in the first quarter, gaining 4.4% while pulling in $227.5 million in fresh assets. Some money managers think the second quarter could bring good things for FEZ investors as well.
FEZ “is a concentrated bet on economic recovery in Europe. Because Europe is behind the U.S. in the economic recovery, its stocks haven’t risen as much. European equities as a whole are about 32%-35% cheaper than the U.S.,” Efficient Market Advisors CEO Herb Morgan told Trang Ho of Investor’s Business Daily.
FEZ is a concentrated wager on a European recovery, specifically recovery within the Eurozone. Unlike rival funds like VGK that feature significant allocations to the U.K. and Switzerland, FEZ is entirely allocated to Eurozone nations. France and Germany, the region’s second-largest and largest economies, respectively, combine for nearly 69% of FEZ’s weight. [Settling the Large-Cap ETF Debate]
Although German stocks are somewhat pricy compared to peripheral European equity markets, German equities are not expensive compared to the U.K. and U.S. Importantly, peripheral Europe looks compelling on valuation. [Valuation Lures Buyers to Europe ETFs]