Emerging markets exchange traded funds, such as the iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: IEMG) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), got caught up in the sell-off affecting global stocks earlier this month. However, IEMG is up more than 8% this year and some market observers remain bullish on developing economies.
Emerging markets are enjoying improved fundamentals thanks to corporate earnings improving as economic growth rebounds and strengthening currencies against the U.S. dollar on the back of improved economic outlooks. Investors would do well to not simply focus on the weak dollar or supposedly compelling valuations on emerging markets stocks.
“During this recent market selloff, it might come as a surprise that EM equities have held up relatively well—actually outperforming U.S. equities during this leg lower, based on the performance of the S&P 500 Index and the MSCI Emerging Markets Index from 26 January to 8 February 2018, according to Bloomberg,” said BlackRock in a recent note.
Market watchers continue to see the the Fed and President Trump policy moves as key drivers in the direction of emerging market assets. The Fed would affect monetary policy changes that could strengthen the U.S. dollar or weaken the appeal of emerging market currencies. Furthermore, Trump has voiced protectionist rhetoric that could affect the way the U.S. does business with its global peers.