NEW YORK ( The FRED Report) -- One of our themes for 2011 at The FRED Report ( www.theFREDreport.com) is that foreign markets will underperform the U.S. indices. At the same time, one of our longer-term themes is that Asia will be where much of the growth is in the future. How do we reconcile these two ideas?
We look at some long-term charts of the Asian markets and it seems that while China is the growth engine, the economies that sell to China are actually doing a bit better. We take a look at the FXI and HAO below. Notice that on both on this ETFs, the peak for these have been, so far, November of 2010, while the U.S. market has continued higher.
When we look at some of the other markets in the region, though, we see some stronger performance out of Asia . Notice that Korea (EWY) and Japan (EWJ) have followed the SPY up, and are leading China. Japan and Korea are two of the biggest manufacturers in the region. Other countries in the region that look strong are EWS and EWM. These are not big manufacturing countries, though -- but as long as they trade ahead of China they are interesting alternatives to China for an Asian allocation. One last country of note is Australia (EWA). In recent weeks, there have been some weather-related problems due to flooding in Queensland that may have held prices back. Sad as this situation may be, this appears to be a short-term problem in a strong economy that has Asian trade as well as a commodity orientation. While speculative, we see potential here as well. The bottom line is we think investors with a long-term view should have a percentage of client assets in Asia. The countries mentioned above should provide some alternative ideas that could increase performance to ones portfolio.