International Markets Beat US In 2017: 3 Best Country ETFs

This has been a banner year for stocks across the globe. This is especially true, as the global stock market has climbed every single month in 2017, for the first time in the 30-year history of the MSCI AC World Index, according to Charles Schwab. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, all 45 countries are on track to grow this year and are expected to continue the momentum in 2018.

The rally was mainly driven by strengthening economic fundamentals, booming trade, strong corporate earnings and a rise in commodity prices. In particular, Trump’s tax overhaul and a spending spree is boosting investors’ confidence in the world’s largest economy while China, the world’s second-largest economy, is holding up well. Meanwhile, Eurozone has been growing at the fastest pace in a decade. Further, investors' unstoppable enthusiasm for technology stocks has added to the global strength.

While the U.S. stock market is in the midst of its second-longest bull run in history, the real encouragement came from the international stock market. This is especially true as Vanguard FTSE All-World ex-US ETF (VEU - Free Report) targeting the international equity market has gained about 26.6% this year compared with growth of 24.2% for iShares MSCI ACWI ETF (ACWI - Free Report), which targets the global stock market, including the United States, and 22% for the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY - Free Report) .

Political instability in the United States, fear of lofty valuation as well as the prospects to end the cheap monetary policy era, especially in Europe, makes international investing more tempting. The European Central Bank (ECB) will start scaling back its massive €60 billion per month asset buying program to halve from January 2018 until at least September 2018. The tightening of policy will be in sync with the Fed and push the U.S. dollar lower and other currencies higher, indicating continued outperformance for the international bourses.

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