Dragged down by renewed worries surrounding Portugal’s finances, Europe exchange traded funds are suffering from another round of financial crisis woes as investors focus on the continent’s less stable peripheral nations.
The iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) and the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ), which both focus on Eurozone countries, both declined about 1.6% Thursday. The WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ), which also tracks Eurozone countries but hedges against a weakening euro currency, dipped 1.4%. [ETF Chart of the Day: Problems in Portugal]
Investors are drawing a line between crisis-hit peripheral Eurozone countries and those from stronger states in Northern Europe, writes Richard Barley for the Wall Street Journal.
The current problems concerning Espirito Santo Bank’s finances has renewed the default scare. Investors are viewing Greece and Portugal debt, which are still rated as speculative-grade, as high credit risk. [Lingering Financial Troubles Weighs On Portugal ETF]
Meanwhile, Ireland, Spain and Italy bonds oscillate between haven government debt and riskier corporate debt. Their yields and spread over German bunds have declined over the past year, but bargain hunters are no longer willing to take on further risk while safe-haven buyers won’t dive in during times of distress.