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ETF Action: Financial, Tech ETFs End Higher

Stocks in this article: STTJPMWFCKCERKHRTHCHIQKBEIYGXRTVCRXHB

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Financial ETFs led the equity ETF category performance on Wednesday amid heightened interest in banking stocks.

State Street's (STT)strong earnings forecast helped lift banking stocks, with the KBW Index ending up 5.6%.

The SPDR KBW Capital Markets ETF (KCE) which holds a 7% stake in State Street rose 3.76% to $31.72. Regional Bank HOLDRS (RKH) shot up 5.6% led by smart performance of J.P. Morgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). The most actively traded financial sector ETF, Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF), rose 4.41%. SPDR KBW Bank (KBE) and iShares Dow Jones Financial Services (IYG) also rose.

Tech stocks also gained in the afternoon session. A prominent gainer among the tech ETFs was iShares S&P North American Tech- Semiconductors (IGW), gaining 5.3% thanks to advances from Intel (INTC), Texas Instruments (TXN) and Applied Materials (AMAT). The stocks gained after the Semiconductor Industry Association said that chip sales rose 48% from a year earlier.

Retail ETFs were up ahead of Thursday's retail sales report. The market is expecting June same- store sales to rise by 3.2%, an increase for the 10th consecutive month. SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) rose 3.15%. Retail HOLDRS (RTH) , Vanguard Consumer Discretionary Fund (VCR) and SPDR S&P Homebuilders ETF (XHB)also rose.

China-focused ETFs were up, even amid concerns of a possible slowdown. The Global X China Consumer ETF (CHIQ) rose 2.28%, as a stronger Yuan is expected to benefit Chinese consumers.

-- Reported by Shanthi Venkataraman in New York.

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