The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) lost nearly 4% last week and that only scrapes the surface of the miserable state of affairs for emerging markets ETFs.
When the closing bell rang Friday, nine of this year’s 10 worst non-leveraged ETFs were emerging markets funds and eight of those nine were sporting double-digit year-to-date losses. The iShares Latin American 40 ETF (NYSEArca: ILF) was not far behind with a 2014 decline of 9.8%. [No Heroes Among Emerging Markets ETFs]
However, it is not just the usual suspects like EEM, ILF, China, Brazil and other single-country funds that are vulnerable to an extended retrenchment in emerging markets shares. Several ETFs that, at least on the surface, are not explicit emerging markets plays could languish if developing world shares continue to careen lower. [Emerging Markets: Badness Happening Right Now]
Take the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN). TAN was the best non-leveraged ETF of any kind last year, but in the past five trading sessions, the fund has plunged 12.3% as emerging markets stocks have swooned. TAN is not a pure play developing world ETF, but a combined 49% weight to China and Hong Kong says this ETF could be vulnerable if there is significant downside still to come for emerging markets stocks.
The good news is TAN has previously dealt with this situation. TAN more than doubled last year in what was a trying time for Chinese stocks.