Single-country exchange traded funds tracking the PIIGS economies are struggling this year and the Global X FTSE Portugal 20 ETF (NYSEArca: PGAL) is not immune to that trend. However, PGAL, the lone ETF dedicated to Portuguese stocks, skirted a potential problem last week.
“Ratings agency DBRS has kept its investment grade classification for Portuguese bonds, ensuring the debt-heavy eurozone country remains eligible for vital help from the European Central Bank’s stimulus program,” reports the Associated Press.
Last year, Portuguese equities retreated after the second-placed Socialist Party formed an alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to create a 122-seat majority, enough to out-vote the center-right coalition government, which held 107 seats after October elections, BBC reports.
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PGAL has also been hampered this year by struggling stocks in neighboring Spain. Recent momentum built up by Spanish stocks is seen as vulnerable to the country’s increasingly contentious political environment. Last year, Spain and its financial markets dealt with the issue of Catalonian independence as Catalonia makes up almost one-fifth of Spain’s gross domestic product and one-quarter of exports.[related_stories]