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5 ETFs to Watch This Week

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are five exchange-traded funds to watch this week.

iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ)

The Japanese marketplace will remain in the spotlight this week as the nation's recovery efforts head into their second week and commentators continue to sort out the winners and losers of the event.

Although it remains well off of its prequake levels, the iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund saw a nice jump at the end of the week. A portion of this rally could be attributed to the yen, which witnessed a steep rise throughout much of last week as investors sought protection.

Fearing that a strong yen could threaten strength of the nation's economy, Japan has begun to intervene in hopes of slowing the currency's appreciation. The effects could be seen on Friday, when CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) took a steep dip.

Investors holding EWJ will want to maintain a close watch on how this currency intervention plays out.

Meanwhile, investors looking for a way to gain access to the Japanese equity markets and avoid the effects of currency fluctuations can turn to the WisdomTree Japanese Hedged Equity ETF (DXJ).

Market Vectors Nuclear Energy+Uranium ETF (NLR)

The Japanese earthquake has ignited nuclear fears across the world, leading many to question the future of this alternative energy source.

In light of Japan's struggles to contain the damage at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, other nations around the globe have begun to question their own nuclear industries. Last week, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel announced the halt of seven of the nation's nuclear plants.

With sentiment soured towards this industry, funds such as NLR and the Global X Uranium ETF (URA) will likely continue to behave in an uncertain manner in the days ahead.

SPDR KBW Bank ETF (KBE)

International events have dominated headlines in recent weeks as Japan takes steps to recover from a devastating earthquake and tsunami, and as political turmoil continues to plague North Africa and the Middle East.

Stateside, however, there are stories investors will want to keep an eye on as well.

For instance, the financial industry could prove to be an exciting sector in the near future. On Friday, investors anxiously awaited word that the Federal Reserve would lift some restrictions imposed on banks during 2008. Reducing oversight will allow healing banks such as Wells Fargo (WFC) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) to boost dividends.

Stock quotes in this article: EWJ, NLR, KBE, XHB, FXI 

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