Best and Worst Performing ETFs in April

Rhodium, platinum, coffee ETFs outperformed last month but electric vehicle, tech and China products struggled

Valerio Baselli 9 May, 2023 | 9:40AM
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Every month we check on how various exchange traded products (ETPs) are doing, and in April, the list of best performers was topped by db Physical Rhodium ETC (XRH0), with a 24% gain.

Top Performing ETFs

With the symbol Rh and atomic number 45 on the periodic table, rhodium is a noble metal that belongs to the platinum family, along with palladium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium. It is, along with iridium, the rarest non-radioactive metal on Earth. Often used in alloys with platinum and palladium to increase its hardness, rhodium is an excellent catalyst and is often used in automotive, aviation, electronics or medical industries.

The price of rhodium (and palladium) has been boosted by a seemingly permanent political dysfunction in South Africa, where 83% of world production is concentrated. With the strikes at the mines and power outages in the country, rhodium supply came to a halt, triggering a rebound in the price.

In addition to ETCs on soft commodities such as sugar and coffee, there is also an ETF exposed to the Polish market. The Warsaw Stock Exchange benefited from the performance of the real estate sector, after the government intervened with subsidies dedicated to first home purchases to boost mortgage lending. This is the opposite of what the real estate industry is experiencing in the rest of the continent.

Worst Performing ETFs

The ranking of the worst performing ETFs in April, on the other hand, sees five ETFs exposed in different ways to the electric vehicles theme. The entire industry suffered most from the slide of Tesla (TSLA), whose stock lost about 17% in US dollars in April. Elon Musk’s company ended the first quarter of 2023 with revenues up 24% to $23.32 billion but profits down 24% to $2.51 billion, weakened by repeated cuts in list prices of cars to boost sales. The company posted a total gross margin of 19.3%, compared to expectations of 22.4%. The operating margin fell to 11.4% from 19.2% last year, although it remained among the highest in the industry.

Chinese tech stocks also struggled last month, with the KraneShares CSI China Internet ETF (KWEB) losing 12.5%. Growth concerns and geopolitical uncertainty led to broader caution surrounding Chinese assets. Besides, intensifying competition within the tech sector has the potential to severely depress profit margins.

Biggest ETFs in April

Monthly top and flop performers often coincide with very volatile and therefore risky products, which should play a satellite role in your portfolio. As such, we also include an overview of the biggest European-domiciled ETPs in terms of assets, which could be more appropriate to consider among core holdings. Performance in April 2023 ranges from 3.4% for the iShares Core FTSE 100 UCITS ETF GBP (ISF), down to the iShares Core MSCI EM IMI UCITS ETF USD (EIMI), which lost 2.5%.  


According to Morningstar data, there are about 44 percentage points between the best and worst performing Exchange-traded products (ETPs) in April, with returns for the month ranging from 24.2% to -19.5%.

We have looked at the key trends in the fourth month of the year, excluding inverse and leveraged funds. These instruments, being purely passive products, reflect the evolution of the markets without the bias (good or bad) of an active manager.

The information contained within is for educational and informational purposes ONLY. It is not intended nor should it be considered an invitation or inducement to buy or sell a security or securities noted within nor should it be viewed as a communication intended to persuade or incite you to buy or sell security or securities noted within. Any commentary provided is the opinion of the author and should not be considered a personalised recommendation. The information contained within should not be a person's sole basis for making an investment decision. Please contact your financial professional before making an investment decision.

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Valerio Baselli

Valerio Baselli  is Senior International Editor at Morningstar.

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