These were the worst-performing ASX ETFs in September

These ASX ETFs were sold off more than most in September.

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) put up another lousy performance in September. It slid by 7.3% across the month to finish at 6,474 points.

But this single-digit fall stacks up rather favourably to some ASX exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that turned in disappointing performances.

Using data from Google Finance, let's check out the worst-performing ETFs on the ASX in September. 

Global X Hydrogen ETF (ASX: HGEN)

The Global X Hydrogen ETF found itself at the back of the pack, drudging up an 18.4% loss in September.

The HGEN ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to companies that stand to benefit from the advancement of the global hydrogen industry. 

Some of its top holdings include Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG), a provider of turnkey hydrogen and fuel cell solutions, and Bloom Energy (NYSE: BE), a manufacturer and marketer of solid oxide fuel cells.

The HGEN ETF was formerly managed by ETF Securities before the ETF provider was taken over by Global X.

HGEN was one of the ASX's best ETF performers in August. It climbed 8.2% across the month as investors bid up hydrogen stocks in anticipation of the Inflation Reduction Act being passed in the US.

It appears momentum ran out of steam in September. Sentiment towards these hydrogen companies turned sour, sending the HGEN ETF down with it.

VanEck FTSE International Property (Hedged) ETF (ASX: REIT)

The VanEck REIT ETF took out unwanted second place, crumbling 14.5% in September to finish the month at $14.98.

The REIT ETF aims to provide investors with exposure to a portfolio of international property securities from developed markets, excluding Australia. 

The REIT ETF comprises around 340 companies. Some of the top holdings include Prologis Inc (NYSE: PLD), a global leader in logistics real estate, Equinix Inc (NASDAQ: EQIX), a data centre company, and Public Storage (NYSE: PSA), the largest self-storage company in the US.

Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are thought to be rather resilient in an inflationary environment as property prices and rental income keep up with inflation.

However, REITs have been battered and bruised this year over concerns about rising interest rates. In a rising interest rate environment, the high yields on offer from REITs become less attractive compared to lower-risk, fixed income options.

What's more, REITs are mainly funded through debt, which becomes more expensive as interest rates head north.

SPDR S&P/ASX 200 Listed Property Fund (ASX: SLF)

ASX REITs weren't immune to this selling pressure in September. As a result, the SLF ETF sat in third place with a 13.9% monthly fall.

The SLF ETF seeks to track the S&P/ASX 200 A-REIT Index (ASX: XPJ), which comprises the 24 REITs in the ASX 200 index. 

Nearly one-quarter of SLF's portfolio is weighted to Goodman Group (ASX: GMG). Other top holdings include Scentre Group (ASX: SCG), Dexus Property Group (ASX: DXS), Stockland Corporation Ltd (ASX: SGP), and Mirvac Group (ASX: MGR).

The SLF ETF has tumbled around 33% in the year to date as ASX REITs have been sold off on the back of rising interest rates.

Motley Fool contributor Cathryn Goh has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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