Four of this year’s five top ETFs have something big in common

Four of this year's five best-performing large ETFs have something in common.

Among all the U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds with more than $2 billion in market value, the top dog is the iShares MSCI China ETF (MCHI), which is up 34 percent through Friday's close.

Following closely behind is the iShares MSCI All Country Asia ex Japan ETF (AAXJ), which has risen 26 percent year to date. The third-best performer is the SPDR S&P Biotech ETF (XBI), but the top five finish off with the iShares MSCI South Korea Capped ETF (EWY) and the iShares MSCI India ETF (INDA).

Some strategists believe the run could continue for these names in the Asian-market exposed space.

Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said that although she thinks North Korea-related tensions will likely be short-lived, the impact could spill over into China.

"You have over $400 billion that have been on the sidelines waiting for the A shares market to open up. MSCI, including it in the MSCI index, all of a sudden has just opened up a flood of capital, and that's probably here to stay," she said Friday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

In the view of Max Wolff, chief economist at Disruptive Technology Advisers, the run is set to continue.

"As U.S. trade and diplomatic leadership has stalled and is running in reverse, we have and we will see an acceleration in the rotation of faith and dollars to regions seen as more promising," Wolff wrote to CNBC on Friday. "That means Asia in the significant part."

"We expect more outperformance from Asia and underperformance from the U.S.," Wolff added.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer. She is co-anchor of the 10AM ET hour of CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET), broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange.

In March 2018, Eisen was named co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), which broadcasts from CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

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