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Global X details next big themes for global ETFs

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April’s Next Big Theme research from Global X finds that Fintech ETFs, Autonomous and Electric Vehicles, Robotics, AI Renewable Energy and Lithium are all themes likely to be popular over the month, based on returns and sales growth expectations by theme, based on their corresponding ETFs. 

In terms of Fintech, Global X writes that non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken front of stage as the latest currency giant. The firm writes that the world of cryptocurrencies is expanding to include NFTs which function more as value-based assets unlike regular cryptocurrencies, and they are quickly gaining traction in the wide range of areas including the digital art space, sports trading cards and other digital assets. 

Turning to electric vehicles (EV), Global X notes that Volkswagen is hiking its EV production capabilities, with plans to build six gigafactories, plants where electric vehicle batteries are manufactured, with partners in Europe. Affordability is a main challenge with in EV industry and the new battery will be produced in-house, aiming to reduce the cost and complexity of the battery while maintaining its range and performance, the team writes. 

The big news in Robotics is that the Japanese industrial robot manufacturing company Fanuc plans to invest JPY26 billion (USD240 million) in its Shanghai plant to expand production fivefold by 2023, having recognised the surging demand for factory automation in China and looking for the customisation of the robots for the needs of each client. Fanuc competitors Yaskawa, ABB, and others are also investing in new plants in China, evidently perceiving the opportunity, Global X writes.  

Artificial Intelligence has been boosted by the news that Intel Corp. intends to invest USD20 billion on new chip-making plants in Arizona following its announcements of entering the foundry business. This is only the beginning for the company as they move towards manufacturing the majority of their chips in-house, Global X writes. 

In terms of Renewable Energy, Global X notes that new tech is on the horizon with Linear generators that use air and fuel to move magnets through copper coils to create a current – and they could be the future of electricity. NextEra Energy Inc. is collaborating with startup Mainspring Energy Inc in releasing this latest technology for companies looking to reduce carbon emissions while maintaining their own power generation and avoiding grid outages. 

Finally, the Global X team comments that Lithium-Ion Batteries have been underestimated: “A recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology provides insight into the rate of lithium-ion battery improvement and says it has been immensely understated. Findings show that the real price of the battery cells, relative to capacity, has declined about 97 per cent since inception in 1991.” 

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