The iShares MSCI Philippines ETF (NYSEArca: EPHE) is already up more than 5% to start 2015, extending a lengthy of run of out-performance by the lone Philippines ETF over diversified emerging markets ETFs, such as the the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM) and the Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: VWO).
EPHE’s impressive start to the year could be just he beginning of a big move to the upside and the charts indicate as much.
“As shown in the first chart, the Philippines PSE Composite broke out to a new all-time high this week. This came after a strong rally from 2009 stalled out around 7500 in May 2013. After retreating from that area for over a year, the index tested those highs in September 2014 and again in November, forming a variant cup-&-handle formation. This action serves to chip away at former resistance before presumably breaking out to new highs, which the PSE has now done. This breakout is reminiscent of India’s breakout last year in that it consolidated temporarily at the previous all-time highs before breaking out,” notes Dana Lyons of J. Lyons Fund Management.
Chart Courtesy: Dana Lyons, J. Lyons Fund Management
EPHE investors are hoping the comparison to Indian stocks in 2014 proves accurate. Although 2014 was, broadly speaking, another disappointing year for emerging markets equities, India ETFs defied the odds. Due in large part to Narendra Modi’s win in last year’s national elections, India ETFs finished 2014 among the best ETFs of any variety.
There is another fundamental similarity between India and the Philippines: Both are net oil importers. In the case of the Philippines, the country imports nearly all of its oil use, meaning EPHE is one emerging markets ETF benefiting from low oil prices. A 9.3% gain over the past six months while the United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) is down 51.5% over the same period confirms as much. [Falling Commodity Prices Lift Some EM ETFs]