Russian equities have outperformed the S&P 500 by 3% in the last month, so the timing of a new exchange traded fund (ETF) from State Street aimed at the Russian economy seems especially good.

SPDR S&P Russia (NYSEArca: RBL), which competes directly with the popular Market Vectors Russia (NYSEArca: RSX). State Street noted that it created this ETF to give investors the chance to fine-tune their BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) exposure.

Like RSX, RBL’s heaviest weighting is toward the energy sector, at 49%. Other top sectors in the fund are materials (17.9%), financials (11.7%) and telecommunications (8.7%).

Meanwhile, the Russian ruble has been on a tear that, if it continues, could change the economy in some key ways. Owen Vater for TickerSpy says a powerful ruble could lead to interest rate cuts and a further rebound of the country’s largely commodity-tied equity sector. [Russia Diversifies Beyond Oil.]

Russian equities were cited as the most robust economic profile late last year, and many analysts were feeling bullish toward Russian equities. The ruble is now at 14-month highs versus a euro-dollar basket; that could help bring Goldman’s forecast of Russia as a top trading idea this year to fruition if the Russian central bank gets out the scissors. [Russia’s Central Bank Lends a Hand.]

Russian stocks and the ADR index that are U.S.-listed have outdone the S&P 500 by 3% over the past month. Market watchers are waiting to see if the recent momentum is for the long haul, or just a flash in the pan. Watch those trend lines and act accordingly. [Our Guide to the BRICs.]

For more stories about Russia, visit our Russia category.

  • Market Vectors Russia (NYSEArca: RSX)

  • CurrencyShares Russian Ruble Trust (NYSEArca: XRU)

Read the disclaimer; Tom Lydon is a board member of Rydex|SGI.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Mr. Lydon serves as an independent trustee of certain mutual funds and ETFs that are managed by Guggenheim Investments; however, any opinions or forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Mr. Lydon and not those of Guggenheim Funds, Guggenheim Investments, Guggenheim Specialized Products, LLC or any of their affiliates. 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.