We have spoken of the waning strength of Emerging Markets based ETFs in recent weeks on several occasions in these recaps, and have also spotlighted ETF options activity which is consistent with the recent sell-off in related ETFs including EEM (iShares MSCI Emerging Markets, Expense Ratio 0.67%) and VWO (Vanguard Emerging Markets, Expense Ratio 0.20%).

This morning, EEM is trading below a $42 handle and near its lowest levels since early December of last year. EEM has seen nearly $2 billion flow out of the ETF in recent sessions, leading all ETPs in net outflows while VWO has seen nearly $200 million leave the fund in its own right. EEM, with an asset base north of $46 billion is a mammoth sized fund, but just as we saw institutional investors pile into EM funds near the end of last year and the beginning of 2013, it appears an exodus is in the making currently. [Emerging Market ETFs Diverge from S&P 500]

The concern with EM at the moment seems to be focused on China and South Korea, as China makes up 19.14% of the MSCI EM Index at the moment, and is the largest single country component. South Korea meanwhile, is the second largest country component, at 13.11% and related ETF EWY (iShares MSCI South Korea, Expense Ratio 0.59%) has been taking it on the chin lately, trading below its 200 day MA this morning for the first time since last November and on heavy volume in recent sessions.

EWY is very heavy one name, Samsung Electronics (22.05% of the portfolio), with exposure to other names including Hyundai Motor and POSCO as well.

Meanwhile, the popular FXI (iShares FTSE China 25, Expense Ratio 0.72%) touched its 200 day MA two days ago before bouncing somewhat and there is clearly selling pressure in the EM space in general, but more specifically focused on Asian equities in China and South Korea.

ETFs that are designed for short term trading purposes as well as within aggressive hedging strategies on the “Bear” side of EM have seen a pick-up in trading activity in recent sessions too include YANG (Direxion Daily China Bear 3X, Expense Ratio 0.95%), EDZ (Direxion Daily Emerging Markets Bear 3X, Expense Ratio 0.95%), EUM (ProShares Short MSCI Emerging Markets, Expense Ratio 0.95%), YXI (ProShares Short FTSE China 25, Expense Ratio 0.95%), FXP (ProShares UltraShort FTSE China 25, Expense Ratio 0.95%), and EEV (ProShares UltraShort MSCI Emerging Markets, Expense Ratio 0.95%).

Heading into the end of the quarter, it will be extremely important to continue to monitor flows and price action in the EM space to see if any bargain hunters emerge at these levels, or if the recent bearish sentiment in the space prevails.

iShares MSCI Emerging Markets

For more information on Street One ETF research and ETF trade execution/liquidity services, contact Paul Weisbruch at pweisbruch@streetonefinancial.com.

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