ETF Trends
ETF Trends

While U.S. stocks and the related exchange traded funds have recently been flailing, ETFs focusing on Asian markets are providing investors with a surprising source of shelter.

“However, much of the turn in sentiment and performance can be attributed to visible improvement in the Chinese economy. Last week, a key measure of Chinese manufacturing activity — the Purchasing Managers Index — improved for a fifth consecutive month. Stronger economic numbers such as this helped Chinese equities to rise more than 8% last month,”said BlackRock Chief Investment Russ Koesterich in a note out earlier this week.

Of the top-15 non-leveraged ETFs over the past month, seven are China funds. That group is paced by the db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (NYSEArca: ASHR) and also includes the iShares MSCI China ETF (NYSEArca: MCHI) and the SPDR S&P China ETF (NYSEArca: GXC). [China ETFs Grind Higher]

Rallies in Asian stocks and ETFs have stoked noticeable volume surges in some overlooked leveraged ETFs. For example, the Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: YANG) saw its volume surge to almost 114% above the trailing 20-day average over the five-day period ending Tuesday.

While that could be seen as a sign that some traders are bracing for downside in China ETFs, the Direxion Daily China 3x Bull (NYSEArca: YINN) saw its five-day volume jump 80% compared to the 20-day average, according to Direxion data.

YINN and YANG track the FTSE China 25 Index, the underlying index for the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), the largest China ETF.

Leveraged China ETFs are not the only Asia funds to recently see some unusual volume. Five-day volume in the Direxion Daily South Korea Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: KORU) climbed nearly 94% above its 20-day average according to Direxion.

KORU seeks to deliver three times the daily performance of the MSCI Korea 25-50 Index, the underlying benchmark for the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWY), the largest South Korea ETF.

EWY and rival South Korea ETFs have been solid though not spectacular as of late on expectations that cash-rich but stingy South Korean firms will begin deploying some of those cash hoards to investors in the form of dividends. [South Korea ETFs Could Get Dividend Boosts]

Direxion Daily FTSE China Bull 3X Shares