5 ETFs to Watch This Week

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are five ETFs to watch this week.

iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund ( EZA)

Although it struggled during the start of August, the South Africa ETF has staged an impressive comeback and is once again trading around pre-sell off levels. The fund's multi-week ascension has boded well for its momentum positioning. EZA has witnessed a climb across both our short- and long-term rankings.

Sweeping macro concerns facing the developed world could prove to be a hurdle for emerging nations like South Africa. Nevertheless, EZA may be exciting to watch in the days ahead.

In the past, I have highlighted EZA as a unique alternative play on precious metals. Though designed to cast a wide net over South Africa's markets, the fund's index boasts heavy exposure to precious metal miners including Impala Platinum, Anglogold Ashanti ( AU), and Gold Fields ( GFI). As investors continue to clamor for exposure to gold and other shiny metals, these producers could be ripe for strength.

Additionally, Sasol ( SSL), the firm's second largest position, is slated to report its quarterly earnings numbers at the start of the week.

SPDR S&P Retail ETF ( XRT)

Best Buy ( BBY) will step up to the earnings plate during the first half of this week to report its performance numbers over the past three-month period. Although the company represents a less than 1% slice of XRT's index, the consumer electronics giant's insight will likely provide clues as to the strength of the consumer.

The consumer is a heavy focus within this week's economic calendar as well. During the middle of the week, investors, analysts and market commentators will have their sights set on retail sales numbers and CPI data.

In the past, consumer sectors have witnessed impressive stability in the face of economic turmoil. Looking ahead, I encourage investors to keep funds like XRT on the radar.

SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD)

The past few days have been a rollercoaster ride for physically-backed gold ETFs like GLD and iShares Gold Trust ( IAU).

These products could be set for strength in the event that resounding market concerns continue to drive investors into safe havens.

Gold miners may be interesting to watch as well. Although they have lagged the physical metal throughout much of the past year, in recent weeks the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX) has managed to stick to an impressive upward path and lock in all-time highs. It will be interesting to see if the fund can hold onto these gains.

Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN)

The volatile solar energy sector has continued to falter in the face of persistent economic turmoil. With the past week's steep losses, the fund has stumbled to previous all-time lows. While it could be interesting to watch in the coming days, I would encourage conservative investors to steer clear of this region of the energy sector.

CurrencyShares Swiss Franc Trust ( FXF)

The Swiss franc's atmospheric rise ground to a halt last week following news that the Swiss National Bank was taking steps to rein it its strength. This currency player has become a wildly popuar destination as jittery investors seek out ways to protect themselves against the troubled euro.

The FXF fell hard at the start of last week in response to reports that the SNB is "prepared to buy foreign currencies in unlimited quantities." The losses, however, did not end there. On the contrary, over the course of the next few days, shares of FXF struggled to find footing, eventually closing out the week at levels last seen in May.

Looking to the days ahead, it will be interesting to not only see if the franc has further to fall, but also to find out what currency player becomes the next big safe-haven destination.

Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.

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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long iShares Gold Trust and iShares MSCI South Africa Index Fund.

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