October 20, 2015 / 5:31 PM / 5 years ago

New U.S. ETFs to shield China stock investors from currency swings

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two exchange-traded funds (ETFs) launched in the United States on Tuesday will provide investors with access to China’s onshore stock market while tamping down swings in the yuan.

After a year that saw the unexpected slide of the Chinese yuan slice into foreign investors’ returns, the two funds become the first so-called currency-hedged ETFs to track stocks traded within China, according to FactSet Research Systems Inc.

The funds - Deutsche X-trackers CSI 300 China A-Shares Hedged Equity ETF and CSOP MSCI China A International Hedged ETF - come after a year of wild price swings in China’s vast market for onshore stocks known as A-Shares.

The Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index has returned 5.9 percent this year despite posting a 28.6 percent loss for the third quarter, which ended on Sept 30.

But an unexpected move in August by China to devalue its currency weighed on foreign investors’ returns. The second largest economy’s currency, also known as the renminbi, sank 2.3 percent this year against the U.S. dollar.

The new funds ride two growing trends in ETFs: an increase in funds tracking Chinese stocks and a move by ETF investors toward funds that try to strip out currency moves by buying what’s known as a forward currency contract. Those currency-hedging funds have grown to $67 billion in assets under management in the United States, according to FactSet. [L1N0VD32R]

After a move by China to allow more foreign investors in its domestic markets, the Vanguard Group Inc, a top ETF provider, said in June it plans to add Chinese A-shares to its broad-market Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF. [L1N0YO1JQ]

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by David Gregorio

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