• Financial sector ETFs maintained momentum Wednesday after stumbling at start of year
  • Global financial sectors also rallied on Wednesday
  • Market observers appear to be pouncing on a sector that has been underperforming in 2016

Despite a relatively tepid Wednesday, financial sector exchange traded funds maintained their momentum as bargain hunters jumped back into an oversold market segment.

On Wednesday, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF) rose 0.7%, iShares U.S. Financials ETF (NYSEArca: IYF) gained 0.4% and Vanguard Financials ETF (NYSEArca: VFH) added 0.7%. The financial sector ETFs are trading back above their short-term, 50-day simple moving average after stumbling at the start of the year. Year-to-date, XLF declined 8.5%, IYF fell 7.5% and VFH dropped 7.9%.

Meanwhile, bank sector ETFs were leading the charge Wednesday, with PowerShares KBW Bank Portfolio (NYSEArca: KBWB) up 1.5%, SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEArca: KBE) 1.5% higher, SPDR S&P Regional Banking ETF (NYSEArca: KRE) up 1.6% and iShares U.S. Regional Banks ETF (NYSEArca: IAT) advancing 1.3%.

The S&P 500 Financial index has gained 11% from its mid-February nadir, the Financial Times reports.

Moreover, global financial sectors were also rallying Wednesday, with the Euro Stoxx 600 Bank index up 18% since mid-February and Japan’s Topix Banks index almost 13% higher for the same period.

The iShares MSCI Europe Financials ETF (NYSEArca: EUFN), which tracks European financial companies, gained 2.0% Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Financials Fund (NYSEArca: DXJF), which follows Japanese financials and hedges against currency risks, increased 3.1%. Year-to-date, EUFN declined 14.4% and DXJF

Some market observers may be pouncing on a sector that has been underperforming for most of the year.

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