With oil prices dropping and diminished growth in China cutting demand for industrial metals, Russia exchange traded funds have experienced a quick sell-off as options traders continue to protect themselves from any more downside in Russian equities.
Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX), iShares MSCI Russia Capped Index Fund ETF (NYSEArca: ERUS) and SPDR S&P Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RBL) lost around 6% over the past week. The Russia ETFs are currently testing their short- and long-term support levels. Nevertheless, the funds are still trading up over 17% year-to-date. [What Putin’s Victory Means for Russian ETFs]
The ratio of puts to sell the Market Vectors RSX ETF compared to calls to buy increased to 2.07-to-1 Thursday, the highest since July 2010, according to Bloomberg. RSX fell to a four-week low as demand for copper, nickel and crude oil, Russia’s largest exports, dropped to a one-week low.
“The fear of what could happen to the commodity prices if China really began to slow down, which would clearly be a downside risk to the Russian markets, is why people are buying puts,” Roland Nash, chief investment strategist at Verno Capital, said in the article.