It has been a dismal year for BRIC stocks an the ETFs that hold those names. The performance of the four major single-country funds tracking the BRIC nations affirms as much as the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI) is the best performer of the group with a year-to-date loss of 12.4%.
The average loss for those four ETFs this year is almost 16.2% compared to a 20% gain for the S&P 500, a statistic that has given investors ample reasons to ignore BRIC ETFs. They may want to start changing their tunes because some BRIC funds, such as the iShares MSCI BRIC ETF (NYSEArca: BKF), are showing signs of awakening from their 2013 slumbers. [BRICs Languish With Emerging Markets ETFs]
BKF has been no prize thus far in 2013 with a loss of 12.6%, but the ETF has been noticeably less bad since the start of July with a gain of 2.7%. That has been enough to improve BKF’s technical situation as the fund closed slightly above its 50-day moving average last Friday for the first time since July. That July move above the 50-day line was a mere flirtation for BKF and the fund has not strung together a multi-day streak of consecutive closes above that important technical indicator since April.
BKF still has work to do as the BRIC quartet are plagued by an array of fundamental factors. For instance, rising inflation, weak economic growth and violent protests weighed on Brazil. Russia’s economy slowed over five straight quarters on lower oil prices. India’s currency depreciated to an all-time low due to a widening current-account deficit. China is experiencing its lowest economic expansion since 1990. [BRIC ETFs Building Back up, but Face Hurdles]
Friday’s close at $35 for BKF can be viewed as psychologically encouraging, but the fund now has to deal with some horizontal resistance at $36. From there, BKF could make a run at reclaiming its 200-day moving average, which the ETF has not traded above since late May. Reclaiming the 200-day line would position BKF to break strong diagonal resistance at $38.
The keys to BKF’s success are easy to identify because just how BRIC this ETF is debatable. BKF is more “CB” than BRIC as China and Brazil and combine for over 69% of the fund’s weight. Not one Indian stock is found among the fund’s top-10 holdings and just two Russian stocks make that roster. That is to say BKF does not necessarily a complete BRIC rally to move higher, but if China and Brazil ETFs can build on their recent, though modest gains, BKF is positioned to be a winner.
iShares MSCI BRIC ETF
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.