Homebuilders ETFs: Housing Starts Hit 13-Year High

Homebuilder sector exchange traded funds are building on the improving housing market recovery as U.S. home construction jumped to a 13-year high in December. Over the past year, the SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (NYSEArca: XHB) increased 38.5%, iShares U.S. Home Construction ETF (NYSEArca: ITB) gained 45.5% and Invesco Dynamic Building & Construction ETF (NYSEArca: PKB) advanced 41.2%. The homebuilding sector is strengthening across the board, with housing starts up 16.9% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.608 million units in December, the highest level since December 2006, Reuters reports.…

China’s Voracious Appetite Could Support Agriculture ETFs in 2020

As the U.S. and China move toward resolving their trade differences, the increased Chinese demand for agricultural goods could help lift some commodity prices and related exchange traded funds. “Both sides are clearly betting that agricultural price inflation will take hold at some point, which will help both sides claim success with achieving the upward end of price projections,” Sal Gilbertie, President, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Founder, Teucrium, said in an email. “Teucrium projects $31 billion of U.S. agricultural imports by China in 2020, rising to $38…

Bank ETFs That Could Benefit from Increased M&A Activity

With mergers and acquisition activity picking up, regional banks and financial sector ETFs that track smaller firms could benefit from the increased consolidation. There were 35 deals in the regional banking space last year, the highest number since 1999, and with the 2020 presidential election looming, buyers may be in a hurry to lock in deals in the first half of the year before a potentially new president comes to office, MarketWatch reports. “Bankers might have a short window to get those deals done,” S&P Global Market Intelligence said in…

Emerging Market ETFs Could Be the Play for 2020

As we re-evaluate our investments for the new year, ETF investors should reconsider emerging market exposure to diversify their portfolios. Armando Senra, who runs iShares Americas for BlackRock, sees increasing “interest in China,” which was “always a good play” to include in a portfolio, CNBC reports. “That said, for 2020, I would pivot to emerging markets,” Senra told CNBC. “There’s more room for growth with a pickup in growth globally. You also have the benefit of the availability to make changes in monetary policy. They still have room to move,…

Japan ETFs May Offer Investors a Bargain Opportunity

After a strong rally, investors are looking through various areas for cheap opportunities that have lagged behind. One area to consider is Japan’s markets and country-specific exchange traded funds. “Value stocks look especially attractive in Japan relative to world markets,” Tsukasa Tokikuni, head of value investor Orbis Investment Management Ltd.’s Japanese unit, told the Wall Street Journal, adding that the firm has about $6 billion invested in the Japanese stock market and holds an overweighting of Japanese stocks in its global fund. Investors interested in Japanese stocks have paid less…