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Bank of Canada and European Central Bank Cut Policy Interest Rates: ETFs to Watch

Published 2024-06-14, 10:13 a/m

Two of the major ex-U.S. central banks have begun loosening their monetary policy ahead of the Fed.

The first was the Bank of Canada (BoC), which on Wednesday, June 5th, cut its policy interest rate by 25 basis points from 5% to 4.75% after previously pausing a few times since July 2023. Governor Tiff Macklem noted that inflation was moving closer to the 2% long-term target and GDP numbers were weaker than expected.

A day later, on Thursday, June 6th, the European Central Bank (ECB) also followed suit with a 25 basis points cut from 4% to 3.75%. President Christine Lagarde justified the cut by noting that inflation had improved and the adjustment was needed given the laggard state of the economy.

Investors looking to position themselves early in what may be a cutting cycle have several ETFs available to do so. Here’s a look at the options for each market region based on the ETF Central screener.

Canadian equity ETFs

Canada’s market is a developed one but concentrated in a few select industries—most notably financials, with the Big 6 banks and life insurance companies, and energy, with its numerous oil and gas producers and pipelines.

Your options for exposure here depend on what you’re looking for. Most of these ETFs will have very similar holdings and sector exposures relative to the S&P/TSX Composite despite using different benchmarks.

In terms of sheer popularity, the winner is the JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) BetaBuilders Canada ETF

with just over $7 billion in assets under management (AUM). As its name suggests, it is designed to provide low-cost broad market exposure to the Canadian market via the Morningstar Canada Target (NYSE:TGT) Market Exposure Index. Its 0.19% expense ratio is competitive.

The biggest NYSE-listed option is the iShares MSCI Canada ETF , which has $2.4 billion in AUM and tracks the MSCI Canada Custom Capped Index. It has very similar top holdings to BBCA, but comes with a higher 0.5% expense ratio.

The Franklin FTSE Canada ETF is the most economical option by far, with the lowest 0.09% expense ratio on this list. It tracks the FTSE Canada Capped Index, again featuring similar top holdings and sector exposures.

One nice thing about these ETFs is that all three have different index benchmarks yet similar holdings, which means you can tax-loss harvest seamlessly between all three

European equity ETFs

Your options for this segment are much more varied given the size of the Eurozone and the long list of important companies there, such as Nestle, SAP, and Siemens.

For low-cost broad market exposure, there’s the SPDR Portfolio Europe ETF, part of the SPDR “Portfolio lineup,” with a low 0.07% expense ratio. It tracks the STOXX Europe Total Market Index, which includes over 1,800 market cap-weighted large, mid, and small-cap companies.

As expected, Franklin Templeton also offers low-cost passively managed Eurozone ETFs via the Franklin FTSE Eurozone ETF and the Franklin FTSE Europe ETF , both of which charge a 0.09% expense ratio.

If you want to move away from market cap weighting to fundamental weighting, the provider to watch is WisdomTree, which has four NYSE-listed Eurozone ETFs.

Options here include the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund , which weights companies based on their annual cash dividends with caps on individual stocks, sectors, and countries while imposing a 50% revenue from exports requirement. Importantly, it is also hedged to mitigate losses from a strong USD versus the euro.

WisdomTree also offers options for small-cap Eurozone equities via the WisdomTree Europe Hedged SmallCap Equity Fund and dividend-oriented exposure via the WisdomTree Europe SmallCap Dividend Fund and the WisdomTree Europe Quality Dividend Growth Fund

This content was originally published by our partners at ETF Central.

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