Stocks and equity-based exchange traded funds have remained relatively range bound over July, dancing around back-and-forth, as investors weighed geopolitical volatility overseas against stronger economic data.
Over the past month, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500 all declined about 0.2%.
The top performing non-leveraged ETFs over July include iShares MSCI UAE Capped ETF (NasdaqGM: UAE) up 13.8%, iShares MSCI Qatar Capped ETF (NasdaqGM: QAT), up 12.8% and Market Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IDXJ) up 12.6%.
After a steep sell-off in June on escalating violence in Iraq, middle East markets, like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plunged on the risk-off pressure. Despite being upgraded to emerging market status in May, the two countries still act like frontier markets in investors’ eyes. [Another Dismal Day for the UAE ETF]
“The stocks should not have moved up so much, they should not have dropped so much – we have sat on the sidelines and watched,” Andrew Brudenell, frontier fund manager at HSBC Global Asset Management, said in a Reuters article. “This is sometimes how frontier markets behave.”
Meanwhile, Indonesian stocks surged on the back of the election season, with many expecting reform-minded Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo to win. [Indonesia ETFs Jump Ahead of Presidential Elections]
The worst performing non-leveraged exchange traded products over the past month include the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Natural Gas Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: GAZ) down 17.8%, United States Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) down 15.5%, iPath Seasonal Natural Gas ETN (NYSEArca: DCNG) down 15.1%.