Up 11.6% year-to-date, the iShares MSCI Australia ETF (NYSEArca: EWA) is one of this year’s best-performing non-leveraged, single-country exchange traded funds tracking a developed market. The largest Australia ETF trading in the U.S. is higher by 1.7% over the past month and some traders believe EWA can deliver more upside.
Although EWA is not a currency hedged ETF, one of the reasons it might be moving higher is the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) consistently loose monetary policy. RBA recently cut Australia’s benchmark interest rates to a record low. However, EWA, which is not a currency hedged ETF, has performed well in the face of RBA rate cuts.
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. Importantly, some market observers view Australian stocks as attractively valued, a bonus when considering the world’s 12th-largest economy has not seen a recession in a quarter century.
Although conventional wisdom has recently dictated RBA would hold off on further rate cuts, Australia’s surprising dip in employment could encourage the central bank to again lower borrowing costs.
On a technical basis, EWA is nearing an important juncture.