Brazil ETF Reaches a Critical Juncture

Even with Monday’s modest loss, the previously downtrodden iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) has finished higher in seven of the past 11 trading sessions.

EWZ, the largest exchange traded fund tracking Latin America’s largest economy, has been a frequent target of criticism, including in this space. However, credit must be given where it is due, so noteworthy is the fact that EWZ is up more than 15% over the past month. That is an advantage of nearly 500 basis points against the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSEArca: EEM). [Brazil ETFs Look for a Better Q2]

EWZ’s recent move to the upside has helped the ETF reclaim its 50-day moving average, an area that has previously acted as some resistance for the fund. After notching several consecutive closes above its 50-day line, EWZ entered Monday trading 3% above that critical moving average.

EWZ “is overbought for the first time this year. Over the past 9+ months, the combination of a drop from overbought territory (on the RSI) and a short-term peak in the Rate of Change (ROC) has proven to be a favorable place to get short or tighten stops on existing long positions. What would make me think this EWZ rally was different this time? One potential x-factor would be EWZ’s ability to hold above the 50 day MA. That would show a change in character and could help the iShares Brazil ETF carve out a bottom. Time will tell,” writes Sal Cilella for See It Market.

Amid a corruption scandal at Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Brazil’s state-run oil company and one of EWZ’s largest holdings, high interest rates, a rising current account deficit and slack economic growth, investors yanked $453.5 million from EWZ in the first quarter. Despite a solid start to the second quarter, no new money has come into the Brazil ETF, but no money has departed, either.