12 ASX exchange-traded funds (ETFs) smashing new 52-week highs today

We have not one, not two, but a dozen new 52-week highs to discuss.

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It's been a fairly positive day for ASX shares and the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) so far this Thursday. After falling over both Tuesday and yesterday, the ASX 200 has recovered somewhat this session, posting a current gain of 0.49%. But it's been a far better day for the ASX's exchange-traded fund (ETF) sector.

Today, we have seen not one, not five, not 10, but 12 ASX ETFs hit new 52-week highs.

Here's the whole dozen, plus the new 52-week high each has hit this Thursday:

  • VanEck MSCI International Quality ETF (ASX: QUAL), with a new high of $42.04 per unit
  • BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF (ASX: NDQ), at $31.71
  • iShares Global 100 ETF (ASX: IOO) at $109.77
  • Vanguard Ethically Conscious International Shares Index ETF (ASX: VESG) at $71.43
  • iShares Core MSCI World ex-Aus ESG Leaders ETF (ASX: IWLD) at $43.81
  • iShares MSCI Japan ETF (ASX: IJP) at $92.92
  • Global X FANG+ ETF (ASX: FANG) at $16.29
  • BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ASX: RBTZ) at $11.78
  • BetaShares Japan ETF (ASX: HJPN) at $15.88
  • VanEck Video Gaming and Esports ETF (ASX: ESPO) at $9.90
  • BetaShares Global Shares ETF (ASX: BGBL) at $51.23
  • Global X S&P 500 Covered Call ETF (ASX: UYLD) at $10.93

So, a happy day for these ETFs and their ASX investors today, to be sure.

Not so-cheaper by the dozen: Why are these 12 ASX exchange-traded funds at new highs today?

You might notice that all 12 of these ASX exchange-traded funds have something in common. The whole dozen represent international shares. Yep, there are no ASX-tracking ETFs here, index funds or otherwise.

In fact, 10 out of the 12 ASX exchange-traded funds on this list are heavily weighted to United States markets, with the two exceptions being the Japanese-focused funds.

So there are two primary reasons why these ETFs are doing so well today. The first is the Australian dollar. It was only last week that the Aussie dollar was closing on being able to buy 68 US cents. But this week, our coal currency has taken a bit of a dip and is buying closer to 66.5 US cents right now.

That might not seem like a big difference, but it is worth a lot when you have a portfolio of American or Japanese shares. If our dollar buys fewer US dollars or yen, then investments denominated in these currencies are worth more when priced in Australian dollars. As such, all 12 of these ETFs are benefitting enormously from the falling currency.

The second is the strength of the US and Japanese markets in general. Last night alone, we saw the US S&P 500 Index add a healthy 1.19%, with big names like Amazon.com and Alphabet recording a 1.85% and 1.16% gain respectively.

And in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 Index has added 1.46% today thus far, after putting on almost 4% so far this week.

So with these two factors in play, it's not too surprising to see these ASX exchange-traded funds that are heavy with US and Japanese shares clock new 52-week highs today.

Motley Fool contributor Sebastian Bowen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has positions in and has recommended BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has positions in and has recommended BetaShares Nasdaq 100 ETF. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended VanEck Vectors Video Gaming And eSports ETF. 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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