Best & Worst Performing ETFs Of First Quarter

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Global stocks enjoyed a strong rally in the first quarter driven by a rapid vaccination rollout and unprecedented stimulus that led to swift economic recovery, raising the appeal for riskier assets. Notably, the United States reached a record three-day stretch of 10 million shots over the weekend, according to the latest Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, and plans to offer inoculations to 90% of adults.

However, rising inflationary pressures and surging yields have made investors jittery since late last month. This is because these have sparked fears of overvaluation especially in a high-growth sector like technology, which has seen a huge surge during the pandemic. The dollar also climbed to one-year higher against major currencies on optimism over rapid distribution of U.S. vaccines and President Joe Biden’s plans to spend up to $4 trillion on infrastructure.

In the commodity world, while the shine for gold and silver has waned, the industrial metals and energy have become red hot. The industrial metals like copper, platinum and tin are surging on optimism over the economic recovery. Agricultural commodities are also not behind with corn seeing strength on China’s buying binge. Meanwhile, oil price has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels on rising demand and tightening supplies.

 Given this, we have highlighted the best and worst-performing zones of first-quarter 2021 and their ETFs:

Best Zones


Breakwave Dry Bulk Shipping ETF (BDRY - Free Reporthas gained the most, surging 114.3% so far this year on rising dry bulk shipping rates. The expectation of a speedy global economic recovery has brightened the demand outlook for all vessel categories, leading to spike in the rates. Additionally, the Mar 23 blockage of huge container ship named Ever Given in the Suez Canal has caused disruptions in shipping, pushing shipping rates higher. The fund provides exposure to the dry bulk shipping market through a portfolio of near-dated freight futures contracts on dry bulk indices. The fund has accumulated about $50.1 million in AUM and trades in a good volume of about 226,000 shares per day on average. It charges a higher annual fee of 3.32%.

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