One of the biggest reasons U.S. investors are revisiting Europe exchange traded funds this year is valuations. As in European equities look inexpensive when measured against increasingly pricey U.S. stocks.
Eurozone stocks and the related exchange traded funds have been impressive performers this year. For example, the iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) and SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ) topped the S&P 500 in the first quarter.
The Eurozone ETFs are also attractively priced relative to U.S. markets, especially after a multi-year bull run has pushed U.S. equities to record highs, with many areas either fairly priced or trading above their historical values. For instance, EZU is trading at a 14.6 price-to-earnings and a 1.5 price-to-book and FEZ shows a 14.2 P/E and a 1.5 P/B, whereas the S&P 500 Index is hovering around a 18.7 P/E and a 2.7 P/B.
“Overseas markets have attracted more investment fund flows this year than the U.S., reflecting a seemingly savvy bet by investors that the performance gap will narrow, or even close. The timing looks right: Given attractive valuations, diminished political risk, low interest rates, and a pickup in global growth, international markets, and Europe in particular, could finally start to outperform,” reports Vito Racanelli for Barron’s.
In a post-Brexit environment, many immediately wrote-off European exposure in a knee-jerk reaction to the ongoing uncertainties. However, investors may miss out on cheap valuations in Europe-related exchange traded funds as a long-term investment opportunity.