Global equities sold off over the past week, sending many markets below their long-term trends. However, bargain hunters may find that the recent pullback opens a buying opportunity, especially in European stocks and related exchange traded funds.
“One example of a region that has been particularly hard hit, probably excessively, is Europe,” according to Russ Koesterich, managing director and BlackRock‘s Global Chief Investment Strategist. “Despite improvement in European economic data, companies exposed to global trade, particularly in Germany, have been singled out for special punishment.”
Over the past week, the iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) declined 7.9% and the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ) fell 8.7%. [Target Developed Europe ETFs If You Want Overseas Exposure]
The BlackRock strategist believes the selling pressure may have been excessive, especially since most leading European indicators point to continued economic expansion. All the recent selling did was restored value to the European market.
“European equities had already been sold hard prior to last week; in local currency terms, European and German stocks are now down 15% and 18%, respectively,” Koesterich added. “The selling has pushed valuations down substantially. German equities are now trading at less than 12 times forward earnings and 1.5 times book value, roughly a 45% discount to the United States.”
For Germany exposure, the iShares MSCI Germany ETF (NYSEArca: EWG) dropped 7.8% over the past week.