ETFs off to a good start in 2019

Article Excerpt

After a rough final quarter of 2018, most asset classes saw significant gains in the first month of 2019 as investors became less concerned about high stock valuations and the China-U.S. trade dispute. Fears about a rapid rise in U.S. interest rates for 2019 also eased. The Vanguard Total Bond Index ETF (BND.O) gained 0.8% in January while the Vanguard Total World Stocks ETF (VT) gained 6.6%. Real Estate, as measured by the iShares Global REIT ETF (REET), gained 9.7%, and a broad basket of commodities—Invesco Commodity ETF (DBC)—gained 7.2%. After a weak 2018, Canadian equities had a positive start to the year: the iShares MSCI Canada Equity ETF (EWC) gained 12.1% (priced in U.S. dollars) as oil and commodity prices moved higher. The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences ETF (HMMJ) was another star performer in January, rising 33.7%. Oil and gas related ETFs also gained substantially: the U.S. Brent Oil ETF (BNO) rose 17.1%, while the SPDR S&P Oil and Gas Exploration ETF (XOP)…

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