International Report: Q4 2020

Laggards

While all of Global X’s single country and regional ETFs performed positively in Q4, the Global X MSCI Pakistan ETF (PAK) and the Global X Germany ETF (DAX) were the worst performers during the quarter, underperforming the ACWI with returns of 10.08% and 12.09% for the quarter, respectively.

Pakistani markets pulled back in Q4 after experiencing a sharp appreciation in Q3 when Pakistan secured a deal with China to distribute their vaccine. Lastly, Health Care companies fell out of favor alongside tech in Q4 in developed countries, dragging down equity performance in Germany.

Conclusion

Throughout 2020, each countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in their equity returns. Results from the fourth quarter only further reflect how unevenly markets were affected globally. And while their experiences with the initial outbreak was important, their response to market swings and COVID-19 resurgences was even more critical to stabilizing their longer-term recovery. Whereas some countries aggressively expanded their monetary and fiscal packages aimed to buffer the long-term economic impact of the virus and related lockdowns, others had less discretionary power. External factors, like the recovery in commodity prices, a renewed Chinese demand for imports, and US elections favoring the prospects of trade liberalization all helped international markets recover from a sharp sell-off earlier in the year. And with higher valuations, lower rates for longer, and less appetite for increased stimulus spending in the U.S., investors seem to be turning towards emerging markets for growth. Going into 2021, such macro developments could enable a virtuous cycle for emerging markets, as a depreciating dollar makes hard currency debt cheaper to service and free up capital to empower higher-growth projects.

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Disclosure: The performance data quoted represents past performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. The investment return and principal value of an investment will fluctuate ...

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