International ETFs Experience Strong Growth in June

Despite an overall drop in assets of U.S. exchange-traded fund (ETF) assets, international funds experienced strong growth during the month of June.

Assets of U.S. exchange-traded funds (ETFs) dropped from $480 billion in May 2007 to approximately $478 billion in June, according to State Street Global Advisors’ (SSgA) ETF Snapshot.

However, international funds experienced strong growth, gaining $4 billion in assets for the month. Fixed income ETFs also had a strong showing, gaining $1 billion in assets for the month, SSgA data showed.

The biggest losers were size-based ETFs, collectively losing $5 billion in June. Small caps were the biggest contributor to this number with a $2.1 billion loss, but all categories of size-based ETFs lost for the month.

Sector-based ETFs experienced net asset growth of $404 million for the month, with energy-based ETF assets growing by $1.1 billion. Meanwhile, REITs (real estate investment trusts) lost $647 million in total assets under management.

As of the end of June, the top ETF managers were Barclays Global Investors (BGI) with assets under management of $282 billion in 137 ETFs, followed by State Street with $102 billion across 59 ETFs. Vanguard placed third with $32 billion in 32 ETFs.

The top three U.S. ETFs in terms of dollar volume traded for the month were the SPDR S&P 500 (average daily volume $25 billion), the iShares Russell 2000 Index fund ($7 billion), and the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock ($6 billion).

As for returns, by sector, Energy, Information Technology, and Industrials were the top three performers, respectively returning 1.7%, 0.6%, and -0.1%, according to SSgA data. The Utilities sector performed the poorest in June, returning -5.3%.