The tension between Ukraine and Russia, renewed financial crisis fears in Portugal and tepid growth are taking their toll on Europe, pushing the markets into back-to-back weekly losses and sending Germany and France country-specific exchange traded funds into a broad correction.
Since the June 6 high, the iShares MSCI Germany ETF (NYSEArca: EWG) is down 12.6% and iShares MSCI France ETF (NYSEArca: EWQ) is 12.8% lower, falling below the widely viewed 10% gauge for a market correction. The broader Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEArca: VGK) fell 9.1% since the high. [German Bund ETFs Rally on Safe-Haven Demand]
“The correction is a wake up a call,” Ros Price, chief investment strategist at Seven Investment Management Ltd., said in a Bloomberg article. “Yes, it is true that markets have weathered lots of risks, but people are rightly becoming worried now. We’re being assaulted on all sides.”
Germany is taking a hit as tensions between Russian and the West escalate. Specifically, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has stated that the tit-for-tat sanctions between Europe and Russia will weigh on Eurozone growth, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“There’s a perception of German industry and Russian energy being closely intertwined,” Neil Wilkinson, a senior fund manager at Royal London Asset Management, said in the WSJ article. “We have a big universe of stocks we can invest in. With so much uncertainty, it’s pretty hard to justify holding firms with a big chunk of their business in Russia.”
Germany accounts for 30% of Eurozone exports to Russia, and the latest round of sanctions and counter sanctions are adding to the perceived risk to trade.