U.K. ETF Loses Steam After S&P Revises Credit Outlook


Shares of the iShares MSCI United Kingdom Index Fund (NYSE:EWU) are off 0.42 percent and trading near the lows of the day after Standard & Poor's revised its outlook on the country's AAA credit rating to negative. Standard & Poor's joins rival ratings agencies Fitch Ratings and Moody's Investors Service in affirming the U.K.'s AAA rating, but revising the outlook on that rating to negative.

S&P's revised outlook implies there is a one-in-three chance the ratings agency could lower the U.K.'s credit rating in the next two years if the economic situation there worsens.

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Earlier Thursday, EWU traded as high as $18.03, just nine cents below its 52-week high. The $1.44 billion ETF has gained nearly five percent in the past month.

Nearly two months ago, the iShares MSCI France Index Fund (NYSE: EWQ) after S&P stripped France of the prestigious AAA credit rating.

EWU is home to 107 stocks. The ETF's top-10 holdings include HSBC (NYSE:HBC), BP (NYSE:BP), Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) and BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP).

Other U.K. ETFs are mixed on the S&P news. The First Trust United Kingdom AlphaDEX Fund (NYSE:FKU) is trading modestly higher while the iShares MSCI United Kingdom Small Cap Index Fund (BATS: EWUS) is flat.

For more on credit downgrades, click here.

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