Prior to rebounding earlier this year, emerging markets exchange traded funds endured a prolonged slump. Latin American markets, such as Brazil, played significant roles in that emerging markets weakness.
Since emerging markets ETFs bottomed in early February, some Latin American markets have reversed course in stunning fashion, playing pivotal parts in bolstering the broader emerging markets complex. For example, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) is up 19.2% over the past 90 days. EWZ trails only the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) among the four major single-country BRIC ETFs in terms of year-to-date performance. [Rousseff Pain, EWZ Gains]
Multi-country regional Latin America ETFs, which are usually heavily weighted to Brazil and Mexico, are participating in the rebound. The iShares Latin American 40 ETF (NYSEArca: ILF) has surged 14.1% in just the past three months after tumbling nearly 13% last year and the $1.1 billion ETF is flirting with what could be an important technical breakout. [LatAm ETFs Look to Bounce Back]
“Although a breakout above the upper downtrend line would be a bullish signal, I would feel much more comfortable calling this a new uptrend once we take out the October highs. This would be the first higher high, from a structural perspective, in years. I would then consider this to be extremely constructive for Latin America and the unanimously hated metals and mining space as a group,” notes Eagle Bay Capital President and founder J.C. Parets.
ILF is knocking on the door of the October 2013 highs referenced by Parets. The ETF’s intraday high for that month occurred on Oct. 22 when ILF hit $40.71. ILF entered Friday just 2.7% below its 52-week high.
Parets adds ILF’s 200-day moving average is turning higher, which can be construed as a bullish sign, but he reiterated it is important to see ILF take out those October 2013 highs.