Australia’s benchmark interest rate of 1.75 percent is a record low for the country, but well above most other developed markets, indicating there is room for further downside.
Among developed markets single-country exchange traded funds, the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (NYSEArca: EWA) has been a solid performer this year with a gain of almost 9%. Rebounding commodities prices and an accomodative central bank are boosting Australian equities, EWA and helping the country continue its lengthy streak of not falling into a recession.
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“RBA’s Stevens and Lowe have made the case for utilizing low global rates to borrow cheaply to fund infrastructure and boost productivity in the economy. Morrison said while Australia is still increasing borrowing to cover government spending on obligations such as health, education and welfare, it wasn’t in a position to splurge on capital,” according to Bloomberg.
The SPDR MSCI Australia Quality Mix ETF (NYSEArca: QAUS) emphasizes the quality factor, which captures excess returns to stocks that are characterized by low debt, stable earnings growth and other ‘quality’ metrics. Lastly, the First Trust Australia AlphaDEX Fund (NYSEArca: FAUS) selects Australian companies based on growth factors including 3-, 6- and 12-month price appreciation, sales to price and one-year sales growth, along with value factors including book value to price, cash flow to price and return on assets.