Thursday was seemingly just another day at the office for China exchange traded funds. Including Hong Kong ETFs, nine China funds hit all-time highs yesterday.
Fifteen China ETFs reached 52-week highs during Thursday’s U.S. session, a group that includes the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), the largest China ETF. FXI’s recent rally is nothing short of stunning. With Thursday’s gain of almost 3.9%, which was accrued on more than triple the average daily volume, the ETF is up 25.4% over the past month. That is better than double the performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, in which China is the largest country weight, over the same period. [China ETFs Shine]
Importantly, FXI enters Friday trading at seven-year highs. Looking at the charts of Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng Index, which is home to many of FXI’s marquee holdings, indicate the ETF has room to build on recent gains.
“From 2007 to 2014 this index (the Hang Seng) had little to brag about, as it lost about two-thirds of its value in that time frame. The large decline took the index from the top of this channel (resistance) to bottom of this channel (support) in a 5-year time frame. The index broke above a 4-year falling channel on a breakout above line,” according to Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions.
“Since last spring, the China ETF has been on a tear, rising over 50 percent. And that rally found sunny skies this year, as FXI busted out to new 7 year highs. And when I say busted out, I mean jailbreak style. FXI has jumped nearly 16 percent in the past 8 trading sessions,” adds Andrew Nyquist of See It Market.
“On Wednesday, Chinese investors used the entire 10.5 billion yuan ($1.69 billion) daily investment quota for buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect scheme for the first time; by Thursday morning more than 6 billion yuan ($967.26 million), over half of the daily quota, had already been” exhausted, according to Reuters.
What has been a frequent point of criticism with FXI, the ETF’s almost 48% weight to the financial services sector, has recently been a boon. Despite a challenging environment, the Global X China Financials ETF (NYSEArca: CHIX) has been regularly hitting all-time highs.
Recent bullishness for CHIX has been accrued against the backdrop of dividend cuts from Chinese banks. Amid rising bad debt, three of China’s four largest banks last week announced payout cuts with one, China Citic Bank Corp., scrapping its dividend altogether, according to Bloomberg. [EM Dividend ETF Bounces Back]
Add to that, pay cuts and restrictions have sparked a spate of executive departures at the Bank of China, Bank of Communications, and China Construction Bank, among others. Bank of China and China Construction are CHIX’s two largest holdings, combining for 19.3% of the ETF’s weight. China Construction Bank and Bank of China combine for 13% of FXI’s weight. [New Highs for China Bank ETF]
Even with the recent surges by China ETFs, investors have not been lured back to FXI as highlighted $188.5 million in outflows from the fund this year through April 9.
Hang Seng Index
Chart Courtesy: Kimble Charting Solution