Thirty-six exchange traded funds have raced to new all-time highs Monday. The list is littered with dividend funds and ETFs focused on U.S. large-caps, but investors may want to pay attention to two of the Europe ETFs on the new all-time high list.
The db X-Trackers MSCI Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DBEU) and the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ) are those ETFs. Importantly, Monday’s gains for the two funds are occurring on strong volume. Volume in HEDJ, which recently topped $1 billion in assets, is already 19% above the daily average. [Hedged Euro ETF Tops $1B in Assets]
Volume in DBEU is already 50% above the daily average. Monday’s above-average turnover comes after the ETF massive volume spikes in the latter half of last week.
Heading into Monday, DBEU and HEDJ were up an average of 3.7% over the past month, slightly ahead of the gains posted by other diversified Europe ETFs that are not currency hedged plays. Not only is volume in increasing in these funds, so are inflows. For example, DBEU has just $43.5 million in assets under management, but almost 22% of that total came into the fund last week. Nearly 80% of DBEU’s current AUM total has flowed into the ETF just this year.
Increased interest in HEDJ and DBEU could be a sign that markets are expecting the European Central Bank to engage in some form of quantitative easing. Remember, it has been about a month since ECB President Mario Draghi hinted ECB QE was likely. The CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) is down almost 1% over that time, but HEDJ and DBEU have rallied. [ETFs for Draghi Talk]
This week’s European data points, including GDP reports from the European Union, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the Netherlands on Thursday, could cement the need for QE.
Still, investors must note important differences between the two ETFs. HEDJ is more levered to ECB easing and the possibility of a weaker euro because the ETF is an explicit Eurozone play. The fund offers exposure to 10 countries, all of which are Eurozone members. That includes an almost 49% combined weight to Germany and France, the region’s two largest economies, according to WisdomTree data.