The Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the two largest emerging markets exchange traded funds by assets, are coming off a quarter in which the pair lost over $6.5 billion combined.
However, investors are not letting up on their departures from emerging markets funds, including ETFs. Investors pulled out of riskier emerging markets as data showed growth from China’s economy slowed, commodity prices fell and the Federal Reserve signaled an interest rate hike this year. The China slowdown is fueling the lower commodity prices and lower outlook for other major emerging economies. Moreover, rising borrowing costs, a stronger dollar and rising corporate debt loads, with the International Monetary Fund warning of corporate defaults, are adding to volatility. [Area Emerging Market ETF Investors Must Monitor]
China’s currency devaluation is aimed at propping up exporters in the world’s second-largest economy amid slack economic data. Beijing revealed that exports declined 8.3% in July, the largest drop in four months and worse than the expected 1% dip. Exports to the Eurozone plunged 12.3% in July and shipments to the U.S. fell 1.3%. [Violent Turn for the Yuan]
“Withdrawals from emerging-market ETFs that invest across developing nations as well as those that target specific countries totaled $566.1 million compared with outflows of $262.1 million in the previous week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Stock funds lost $483.5 million and bond funds declined by $82.5 million,” reports Ken Kohn for Bloomberg.
Investors should look at the emerging market equities as a more cyclical asset. Currently, after years of outperformance in the developed markets, the emerging markets are beginning to show a lower premium to more developed countries. [Look to Emerging Market ETFs in the Second Half]