A Stealth Recovery in Emerging Asian ETFs?

NEW YORK ( ETF Expert) -- There has been so much negativity with regard to emerging Asian equities over the last 12-18 months. Some of it has been attributable to concerns of a "hard economic landing" in China, while some of it has been due to fears regarding Europe's recession and debt crisis.

Nevertheless, U.S. equities are at the higher end of the S&P 500's trading range (1278-1420). With one of my favorite emerging growth investments in iShares MSCI Malaysia ( EWM) logging respectable year-to-date returns, I decided to check up on the progress of 10 of the most popular emerging Asian ETFs and their year-to-date percentage returns (as of July 30).

They are:

iShares MSCI Philippines Index Fund ( EPHE), 27.1%

Market Vectors Vietnam ETF ( VNM), 21.3%

iShares MSCI Thailand Index Fund ( THD), 14.9%

iShares MSCI Malaysia> ( EWM), 7.5%

WisdomTree India Earnings ( EPI), 6.6%

SPDR S&P Emerging Asia Pacific ( GMF), 3.5%

iShares MSCI China ( MCHI), 1.3%

SPDR S&P China ( GXC), 1.1%

Market Vectors Indonesia ( IDX), 0.8%

Guggenheim China Small Cap ( HAO), -2.3%

By comparison, the SPDR S&P 500 ( SPY) has a return of 9.7%.

Only three of the Asian ETFs have out-hustled the SPDR S&P 500 through the end of July. On the other hand, 80% of these ETFs demonstrated positive 50-day slopes that are, by definition, uptrends. The Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines ETFs have not only had strong year-to-date performance showings, but they currently have positive slopes; five other ETFs have turned a positive slope corner for the first time since March.

Using the 50-day slope, Guggenheim Small-Cap China and Market Vectors Vietnam are the only exchange-traded trackers in downtrends. Still, VNM managed to post the strongest percentage gains on the list.

Will the uptrends last? They may, in fact, be somewhat tenuous.

For instance, the current price of SPDR Emerging Asia is above a 50-day moving average. What's more, the slope is not only positive, but it has been rising since early June.

That said, GMF last demonstrated a positive, rising slope at the start of the year. Then, 10-year Treasuries yields in key eurozone nations were falling; today, they remain stubbornly high at unsustainable levels.

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