Best And Worst ETFs Of April

Despite a dovish Fed session at the end of March, the domestic market could not break all the barriers in April. Instead like the first quarter, international investing was in vogue all through the month. While the top performing ETF of April went on delivering over 40% in return, gains out of SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY - ETF report) were muted at around 2.5%.

Below, we highlight a few of these strong international plays, which may be worth paying attention going forward should the trend seen in April stay in the market for a while.


China ETFs have been delivering an all-star performance this year on a policy easing spree. Back-to-back rate cuts and rising hopes for further easing helped Chinese securities to return generously to investors despite a sagging economic growth profile. The space was the showstopper in Q1 and retained its dominance in April too (read: 3 Best Performing ETF Sectors of Q1 2015).

This strong trend has made Global X China Industrials ETF (CHII - ETF report) the best performer in the month with over 42% gains. Investors should note that if we go by the list of highest returning ETFs of the month, the first few positions are acquired by various China ETFs. Among them, the likes of Global X China Materials ETF (CHIM - ETF report)), Guggenheim China Small Cap ETF (HAO - ETF report) and iShares MSCI China Small-Cap ETF (ECNS - ETF report) have returned around 30%.

Investors might be surprised to know that Brazil made a place for itself in the toppers’ list last month despite the Petrobras (PBR) scandal. The largest Brazilian ETF iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ - ETF report) returned over 21% in the last one month though the fund was flat on a year-to-date basis (read: Petrobras Earnings & Scandal Drag Brazilian ETF Lower).

A dovish Fed, which appears in less hurry to hike rates (as evident from its April meeting) following the setback to U.S. growth, put the strength in the greenback on hold. Added to this, a wave of cheap money in the international nations from Europe to Asia Pacific has lent a hand to the Brazilian stocks.


April can be easily remembered as the month of rebounding oil prices, which in turn gave a big-time boost to the oil-rich nations in the Middle East. This helped iShares MSCI UAE Capped ETF (UAE) in the month. The fund was up over 19% in the month.

Investors will also be interested to know what the unloved areas were in April. For them, we highlight a few spaces which were hit the most in the month.

Agricultural Commodity

Agricultural commodities are clearly out of investors’ favor this year due to demand-supply imbalances. Even a benign greenback could not help the agro-based futures contracts.

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