NEW YORK (ETF Expert) -- The biggest news over the weekend was China's surprise Christmas-day decision to hike its interest rates. China is looking to slow down price inflation. And, not surprisingly, some of the worst-performing country ETFs on Dec. 27 were those with heavy exposure to the materials and energy segments.
For example, Columbia, Chile, Brazil and Mexico were among the biggest losers. (Review my recent commentary, "China Decides How High Reflation Trade ETFs Will Climb.")
In general, this tells us that when China reins in rates, the market may believe that the second largest economy may require less coal, steel and copper from resource-rich nations. It may be a knee-jerk reaction, but it's a predictable reaction nonetheless.
On the other hand, China's proactive response to curb price inflation isn't necessarily a burden on its middle class.Consider five of the best-performing country ETFs on the last Monday in 2010: iShares MSCI Singapore (EWS), iShares MSCI Malaysia (EWM), iShares MSCI Taiwan (EWT), iShares S&P TOPIX Japan 150 (ITF) and Market Vectors Indonesia (IDX). China raised its rates, and the neighboring region's ETFs rocketed higher?
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