There has been increasing chatter of a positive decoupling of emerging markets equities from their U.S. counterparts. That is one result of the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM), the two largest emerging markets ETFs by assets, gaining more than 5% over the past month, a period in which the S&P 500 is up just 1.4%.
Of course, the benefits of rebounding developing world equity markets are not confined to large diversified ETFs like EEM and VWO. Some once moribund country-specific ETFs are finally rewarding investors. A prime example is the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ).
EWZ, the largest single-country ETF tracking a Latin American nation, has surged 13% this month and is up more than 6% in the past five days despite Standard & Poor’s lowering Brazilian debt to the lowest possible investment-grade rating last Tuesday. That is a big run in short time frame, but EWZ could just be getting started. [Brazil ETFs Endure S&P Debt Downgrade]
“Unless you live under a rock, you are well aware that BRIC countries have had a rough past few years. Is this drastic under performance by the BRIC countries finally about to change? The first step for Brazil is to continue to break overhead resistance and close above its 200MA by a solid margin. During the decline EWZ has made runs to push above its 200MA by a decent margin, only to run out of gas and create another lower high,” according to Chris Kimble of Kimble Charting Solutions.
Buoyed in part by a nearly 20% gain by Petrobras (NYSEA: PBR) this month, EWZ closed above its 200-day moving average on consecutive days last week for the first time since November 2013. Interestingly, some investors remain leery of EWZ following the ETF’s disappointing performance last year as the ETF has lost more than $283 million in assets this month. [ETFs for Risk-Tolerant EM Investors]
EWZ is not only well-known, controversial single-country emerging markets ETFs currently in rally mode. The iShares MSCI Thailand Capped ETF (NYSEArca: THD) is up 17% this year despite elevated political tensions in the Southeast Asian country. [Thailand ETF Survives Political Violence]