Exchange traded funds focusing on European equities were among the best ex-US performers last year, a theme that could extend into 2018 as the region’s economic activity picks up.
IHS Markit revealed that its purchasing manager index spiked to 58.1 in December from the previous month’s 57.5, according to the Associated press. The Eurozone economy has withstood headwinds, largely heightened political risks in an election packed year, and managed to push through solid growth for 2017.
The Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF (NYSEArca: VGK), iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) and the SPDR EURO STOXX 50 (NYSEArca: FEZ) are among the well-known Europe ETFs for investors to consider. The Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EMU Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEZ) is an ETF to watch should the euro falter against the dollar.
“With a target level of 460 for the Stoxx Europe 600 Index by the end of December, they are predicting the best annual performance for the gauge since 2009, when it rebounded from a painful rout caused by the global financial crisis,” reports Bloomberg. “That gain would also be the region’s best showing relative to the U.S. in 13 years, based on Citigroup projections.”
Market observers project earnings per share growth for European stocks to remain strong and build upon the success over the first two quarters of the year. In the first half of the year, earnings upgrades were broad and far reaching instead of concentrated to specific areas. Since October 2016, trailing 12-month EPS of European stocks are up to double digits, and since July of last year, 12-month forward EPS expectations are up by a similar amount as well due to a strengthening global economy.