The start to August was rough for the broader market as the month opened on a host of bad news. The first and foremost setback was President Trump’s announcement of a 10% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports that aren’t yet subject to U.S. duties. The new tariff will be levied starting Sep 1. Another $250 billion in Chinese goods are already subject to a 25% U.S. tariff. The President said the new round of tariffs could be increased beyond 25%. China soon retaliated by devaluing its currency against the dollar to a decade-low level (read: ETF Areas Under Focus on China’s Yuan Devaluation).
Since U.S. chip stocks and other tech stocks are extremely vulnerable to China, the space wobbled badly amid growing trade spat. This is because rising tariffs will make the products of tech giants like Apple and other American biggies costlier to manufacture. This, in turn, will likely compel hardware manufacturers to hike prices at home while duties on the finished goods exporting to China could also make the products expensive for buyers in that country, per techcrunch.com.
Going by Morgan Stanley equity strategists, “semiconductor and semiconductor equipment companies have the highest revenue exposure to China at 52%” and are thus prone to maximum hazards on heightening trade stress. Tech Hardware & Equipment companies have about 14% exposure to China (read: After Upbeat July, Will Semiconductor ETFs Slump in August?).
Against this backdrop, below we highlight a few tech ETFs that are least-hurt amid renewed trade tensions.
The underlying DWA Technology Technical Leaders Index identifies companies that are showing relative strength and are composed of at least 30 common stocks from a universe of approximately 3,000 common stocks traded on U.S. exchanges. The fund charges 60 bps in fees. The fund was off 3.2% in the past five days (as of Aug 6, 2019).
The underlying TASE-BlueStar Israel Global Technology Index considers all Israeli companies regardless of listing venue and allows for the inclusion of companies operating in a range of industries from information technology to biotechnology to clean and sustainable agriculture and energy technology. The fund charges 75 bps in fees. The fund lost about 3.2% in the past five days.
The underlying Prime Mobile Payments Index provides a benchmark for investors interested in tracking the mobile and electronic payments industry, specifically focusing on credit card networks, payment infrastructure and software services, payment processing services, and payment solutions. The fund charges 75 bps in fees. The fund declined about 4.1% in the past five days (read: S&P 500 Hits New High: 10 Top-Performing ETFs YTD).
The underlying S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Information Technology Index measures the overall performance of common stocks of U.S. information technology companies. The fund charges 29 bps in fees. It was off 5.8% in the past five days.
The underlying Motif Data-Driven World Index delivers exposure to companies with common equity securities listed on exchanges in certain developed markets that may benefit from the ongoing rapid increase in electronically recorded data in the world and its impact on the life cycle of data delivery and processing. It charges 50 bps in fees. The fund retreated about 5.4% in the past five days.