Technology ETFs were among the worst-performing funds in Selftrade's ETF Select 100 list during March, amid reports Facebook had misused 87 million users' data while President Donald Trump singled Amazon out for not paying enough taxes.
According to data from Selftrade and ITI Group, the PowerShares EQQQ Nasdaq 100 UCITS ETF was the worst performing ETF, falling 6.3% over the month, while the Source Technology S&P US Select Sector UCITS ETF and iShares NASDAQ 100 UCITS ETF dropped 6% and 4.6% respectively.
The performance was largely driven by the Facebook data scandal, as it emerged the social media giant sold the personal information of 87 million users to data firm Cambridge Analytica on 19 March, causing the stock to fall 10.4%.
Furthermore, Trump's comments on Twitter that Amazon use the US's postal system and pay "little or no taxes" to state and local governments caused its share price to slump 5.2% on 29 March.
Fears over increased regulation on the sector sent the Nasdaq to its worst month since January 2016, dropping 2.9% in March.
Making up the bottom five were two financial ETFs. The Source EURO STOXX Optimised Banks UCITS ETF slumped 5%, while the Db x-trackers Stoxx Europe 600 Banks UCITS ETF fell 4.9%.
Simon Glover, chairman of ITI Group, said the falls were due to continued zero interest rates in the eurozone, something which is typically negative for banks.
"With tech stocks under pressure and a concern that lower interest rates make life harder for the financial sector, tech and financial ETFs made up most of the list of worst-performing ETFs," Glover continued.
"Much of the equity market optimism last year was based on the belief that synchronised economic growth would lead to a surge in global trade, while tech companies would continue to outperform.
"While these factors may still re-emerge later this year, they took a knock in March…as Trump signalled out Amazon in a tweet and Facebook brought about its own troubles."
Among the best performing ETFs were UK government bonds which acted as a safe haven from Trump's ongoing trade war with China.
The Vanguard UK Government Bond UCITS ETF rose 1.9% while the iShares £ Index Linked Gilts UCITS ETF and SPDR Barclays 15+ Year Gilt UCITS ETF climbed 2.2% and 3.4% respectively.
Glover commented: "With equity markets taking a breather, interest rates could also set back, so bond ETFs rallied strongly, making up three out of the top five performing ETFs last month."
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