Overall, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) have slightly out performed the ASX in 2020, only losing 9.7 per cent compared to the bourse’s 11 per cent loss as at June 15.

An ETF contains a collection of securities such as stocks that often (but not always) tracks an underlying index.

19 ETFs have recorded gains in 2019 and  6 are up by 10 per cent or more.

Here are the best performing ASX ETFs as at June 16:

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Code Name Price Fund Assets ($M) YTD Return %
CNEW Vaneck Vectors China New Economy 8.1 71 18
ASIA BetaShares Asia Technology Tigers 8.24 147 15
MNRS Betashares Global Gold Miners 6.17 23 15
NDQ BetaShares NASDAQ 100 ETF 24.21 877 14
GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF 48.39 392 14
HACK BetaShares Global Cybersecurity 8.11 198 10
ETHI BetaShares Global Sustainabili 10.59 653 9
CURE ETFS S&P Biotech ETF 63.83 10 8
WCMQ WCM Quality Global Growth Fund 6.57 62 7
RBTZ BetaShares Global Robotics And Artificial Intelligence 11.15 37 7
TECH ETFS Morningstar Global Technology 87.05 145 6
ACDC ETFS Battery Tech and Lithium 54.34 21 5
QLTY BetaShares Global Quality Lead 19.55 49 4
BEAR BetaShares Australian Equities 12.1 110 3
ROBO ETFS ROBO Global Robotics and 64.87 120 3
PAXX Platinum Asia Fund ETF 4.6 138 2
QUAL Vaneck Vectors MSCI World ex A 31.03 1060 2
INES Intelligent Investor Ethical S 2.63 18 1
IXJ iShares Global Healthcare ETF/ 99.53 687 1
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There is a wide variety of ETF performers on the bourse but around half fell into 3 categories: Asia, gold and tech.

Despite China and its stock exchange being hit by COVID-19 far earlier than the Western world, VanEck’s China focused ETF (VanEck Vectors China New Economy ETF (ASX:CNEW) is the top performer, up 18 per cent.

According to VanEck, it tracks the performance of the top 50 companies listed in mainland China. Its top two holdings are Ping An Insurance and local liquor giant Kweichow Moutai — both making up over 10 per cent each.

Its rise comes despite the Chinese exchange still being in the red (albeit slightly) in 2020 and the economy still suffering from weak consumer sentiment.

Coming in second was BetaShares’ Asia Technology Tigers ETF (ASX:ASIA) fund which tracks the top 50 tech companies in Asia (excluding Japan).

Strong gold prices and, consequently, strong performing gold stocks in recent months has put two gold ETFs in the top 6.

Namely, Betashares Global Gold Miners ETF (ASX:MNRS) which took 3rd place and VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (ASX:GDX) which is 6th.

There were six technology focused ETFs (not counting BetaShares’ Asian tigers fund).

A couple of standouts were focused on robotics and artificial intelligence with BetaShares Global Robotics and Artificial Intelligence ETF (ASX:RBTZ) and ETFs ROBO Global Robotics and Automation ETF (ASX:ROBO).

Another notable tech winner was focused on as cyber security – BetaShares Global Cybersecurity ETF (ASX:HACK).

Despite the race to secure a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment and many companies in the game surging as a consequence, only one biotech ETF made the list – ETFS S&P Biotech ETF (ASX:CURE).


The Bear fund can’t save you from bulls

Arguably the most noteworthy winner was BetaShares Australian Equities Bear Fund (ASX:BEAR).

As its name suggests it is intended to correlate negatively with the market and consequently has done just that in 2020.

It fell 7 per cent between January 1 and February 20, spiked 50 per cent between February 20 and March 23 then has dropped over 20 per cent since, leaving it just slightly in the green.