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.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET). In addition, he contributes to CNBC and CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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