The blackouts in South Africa might be good for the price of gold, platinum and diamonds, but it’s wreaking havoc across other sectors and in the country’s exchange traded fund (ETF).

Since late last week, the country’s mines shut down, and each day equals $250 million in lost revenue, reports Joanne Von Alroth for Investor’s Business Daily. The iShares MSCI South Africa (EZA) is taking a beating, since four of its top 10 holdings are mining companies, and 42% of the fund’s assets are in the top five holdings.

The fund has had a rough week: it’s down 4%. Year-to-date it’s down 9.8%.

The outages aren’t just hurting the mines: hospitals have to juggle surgeries, schools close, drivers have to cross their fingers at intersections, shops and restaurants lose customers, production drops and businesses shut down.

This is a good reminder of what we said earlier in the year about looking beyond the business section and being up on the news. It also pays to do some research and know what you own, too, especially when a fund is so heavily weighted in a sector on which a country is dependent.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.