Look to Australia

I recently wrote about alternatives to the abysmal European economy for investors who feel the need to maintain some allocation in their portfolios to developed-market stocks beyond the U.S. Though the eurozone, U.K., and Japan account for the bulk of this asset class globally, there are other compelling opportunities available from North America to Asia. One of the options I highlighted recently was Australia, which has been in the spotlight lately thanks to developments that have positioned it for continued success in coming months.

Australian stocks have shown signs of breaking out of a rut recently: the iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund (EWA) is up about 10% this year, but still down by about 10% over the previous 52 weeks. The strong performance in 2012 has come in part thanks to a surging Australian dollar; the currency has popped by close to 5% against most major rivals in 2012, which translates into additional returns for stocks denominated in the local currency....506 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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