5 ETFs to watch this week

As the yen continues its troublesome rise, investors should watch exchange-traded funds such as BJK and IAU.

By TheStreet Staff Aug 30, 2010 11:32AM

By Don Dion, TheStreet


ETF investors will be watching to see what steps will be taken to deal with inflationary problems in Vietnam and the troublesome rise in Japan's yen. Here are five exchange-traded funds that may make a move this week.


1. Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM)


I have often looked to Vietnam as a promising frontier market. However, recently, the nation has faced pressure as its government takes bold steps in an effort to rein in its growing trade deficit, while at the same time preventing against the threat of inflation.


In response to the actions taken by the nation's leaders, the Vietnam ETF was pounded throughout most of last week, at one point testing new all-time lows.


Looking toward the next few days, investors interested in Vietnam will want to keep a close watch to see if VNM can recover some of the ground lost recently.


2. CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY)


The recent run of dismal economic news has thrust the Japanese yen into the spotlight. In response to concerns regarding the strength of the global recovery, this defensive currency has powered higher, visiting 15-year highs.

While good for the FXY, the staggering ascension of the yen has weighed on Japan's markets, causing the Nikkei to take a shot across the bow. In response, Prime Minister Naoto Kan has offered up tough rhetoric, warning that decisive action would be taken to cool the yen's strength when it becomes necessary.


Despite the strong words, the yen may have some more fuel left in its tank this week as investors prepare to digest another round of economic data.


3. Market Vectors Gaming ETF (BJK)


As evidenced by the recent performance of BJK, sin is in. Despite the growing concerns about the strength of the global economic recovery, the gaming industry appears to be holding strong, with this fund handedly beating out the performance of the broad S&P 500 ($INX) throughout 2010.


With top holdings such as Wynn Resorts (WYNN) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS), BJK not only exposes investors to the craps tables in Las Vegas but also internationally hot gaming regions such as Macau.


4. iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU)


Throughout the recent bout of economic turmoil, gold has staged an impressive comeback, approaching a nominal all-time high. Aside from IAU, SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF(GDXJ) will also be funds to watch as investors pile back into the yellow metal.


Silver has shown promise as well, sending iShares Silver Trust(SLV) and Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) higher. While heavily used in an industrial setting, like gold, silver will benefitting from the shaky outlook towards the global economic recovery.


5. iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond Fund (HYG)


Bonds and other yield bearing asset classes are in vogue as investors seek out any sort of stable payout to defend against today's trying economic climate.


Investors looking to add some additional risk to their portfolio may find HYG an attractive option in coming days. Although this fund's index is comprised of companies whose debt is considered below investment grade, thanks to the general strength indicated by this most recent earnings season I don't foresee much in the way of defaults in the coming week.


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