Events unfolding in the Middle East is already proving to be a major market mover in 2020, which could put certain ETFs on the watch list. Last Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell as much as 300 points following news that a top Iranian general was killed in a U.S. airstrike on Baghdad.
Per a CNBC report, “Iran’s top commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, has been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Baghdad, the Pentagon confirmed Thursday night following reports of his death on Iranian state television and Iraqi media. Soleimani, who led a special forces unit of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, had been a key figure of Iranian and Middle East politics.”
”His death exacerbated already-high tensions between Iran and the United States and triggered concerns of retaliation from Iranian forces,” the report added.
Oil prices rocketed following the news and investors flocked to safe haven assets like gold as fears of a broader conflict entered the minds of investors. As a result, gold reached a six-year high to push past the $1,550 per ounce price level.
The US’ act of international terrorism, targeting & assassinating General Soleimani—THE most effective force fighting Daesh (ISIS), Al Nusrah, Al Qaeda et al—is extremely dangerous & a foolish escalation.
The US bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 3, 2020
My statement on the killing of Qassem Soleimani. pic.twitter.com/4Q9tlLAYFB
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 3, 2020
In the meantime, here are three funds investors may want to keep their eyes on as events in the Middle East unfold:
- iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia ETF (NYSEArca: KSA): seeks to track the investment results of the MSCI Saudi Arabia IMI 25/50 Index. The index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization-weighted index with a capping methodology applied to issuer weights so that no single issuer exceeds 25% of the index weight, and all issuers with a weight above 5% do not cumulatively exceed 50% of the index weight.
- iShares MSCI Israel Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EIS): seeks to track the investment results of the MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index (IMI). The index is a free float-adjusted market capitalization index designed to measure broad-based equity market performance in Israel.
- VanEck Vectors Israel ETF (NYSEArca: ISRA): seeks to replicate as closely as possible, before fees and expenses, the price and yield performance of the BlueStar Israel Global Index®. The index is comprised of equity securities, which may include depositary receipts, of publicly traded companies that are generally considered by BlueStar Global Investors, LLC to be Israeli companies. It may also utilize depositary receipts to seek performance that corresponds to the fund’s benchmark index.
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