Brazilian stocks and related exchange traded funds were advancing Tuesday, despite the weakness in U.S. and other developed markets, as Brazil pushes forward with reforms to support sustainable economic growth.
The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) rose 0.8% Tuesday. Since the December 16 low, EWZ has increased 11.5%. ETF investors, though, remain skeptical, pulling a net $197.4 billion from the fund since the recent low, according to ETF.com data. The ETF is still down 15.6% year-to-date. [Don’t Expect Much Out of LatAm ETFs in 2015]
Brazilian equities strengthened after President Dilma Rousseff announced a R$18 billion, or $6.7 billion, per yer cut in pension and unemployment benefits, which could save the country 0.3% of its gross domestic product next year, reports Samantha Pearson for Financial Times.
The cuts are a way to “guarantee the government’s fiscal balance in the coming years and attract investments so the country can resume economic growth,” according to a press release.
The Brazilian real currency also jumped Tueday, gaining the most among major currencies, reports Filipe Pacheco for Bloomberg.
The WisdomTree Brazilian Real ETF (NYSEArca: BZF), which monitors shifts in the Brazilian real against the U.S. dollar, was up 2.3% Tuesday. BZF, though, is still down 4.2% year-to-date. The real and currency-related ETF have declined this year on concerns that the country’s poor fiscal health could lead to a ratings cut, and speculation that the Federal Reserve would tighten its monetary policies also diminished demand for Brazilian assets.