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State Street Shows Odd Timing With ETF Launch

Is now a good time to launch a new series of ETFs? It depends on your perspective.

One view is that a downward-trending market is a less-than-ideal moment to attempt to gain enthusiasm for a new family of ETFs. The opposing view is that the timing is near-perfect, as the majority of troubles have already been flushed out of the market.

On Tuesday, State Street (STT) forged ahead with the launch of 10 new SPDR ETFs. Each fund is sector-specific and adds an international flavor.

"These ETFs were developed in response to demand from investors seeking targeted exposure to sectors that do not include U.S.-listed securities," said James Ross, senior managing director at State Street Global Advisors.

These international sector ETFs are benchmarked to a series of S&P broad market indices, and cover a range of sectors, such as energy, technology, materials and financials. Each is market-cap weighted and includes only non-U.S. holdings.

Scanning the new SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF (IPW), the fund contains top foreign names such as BP (BP), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A), Suncor Energy (SU), Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ) and Imperial Oil (IMO).

Looking at the SPDR S&P International Financial Sector ETF (IPF), investors will see holdings that include UBS (UBS), Banco Santander (STD), Barclays (BCS) and Credit Suisse Group (CS).

Name Ticker
SPDR S&P International Consumer Discretionary Sector ETF IPD
SPDR S&P International Consumer Staples Sector ETF IPS
SPDR S&P International Financial Sector ETF IPF
SPDR S&P International Health Care Sector ETF IRY
SPDR S&P International Industrial Sector ETF IPN
SPDR S&P International Materials Sector ETF IRV
SPDR S&P International Technology Sector ETF IPK
SPDR S&P International Telecommunications Sector ETF IST
SPDR S&P International Utilities Sector ETF IPU
SPDR S&P International Energy Sector ETF IPW

Fine-Tuning Asset Allocation

The advancement of foreign markets, coupled with expanded media coverage, has captured the attention of the investing community.

"International equities have been a very fast-growing segment of the ETF world," says Tom Anderson, head of ETF research for State Street Global Advisors. "These new funds are another tool that will allow you to get that foreign equity exposure."

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