On a year-to-date basis, aggregate inflows to U.S.-listed exchange traded funds tracking Chinese stocks are not impressive.
The nearly $96 million added on a combined basis by the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (NYSEArca: ASHR) and the SPDR S&P China ETF (NYSEArca: GXC) is not nearly enough to offset the $188.5 million lost by the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI), the largest China ETF trading in the U.S.
However, the trend of departures from China ETFs is starting to abate and with China ETFs soaring, some risk-tolerant traders are piling into leveraged China funds. To this point in Monday’s trading session, 25 ETFs have hit 52-week highs. That group includes FXI and that is good news for the Direxion Daily China 3x Bull (NYSEArca: YINN). [Leveraged Asia ETFs on the Rise]
YINN attempts to deliver triple the daily performance of the FTSE China 50 Index, FXI’s underlying benchmark. The triple-leveraged ETF is up 4.3% at this writing and trading at its highest levels since July 2011. With FXI up nearly 11% in just the past month, YINN has more than obliged, surging nearly 35% over that period.
Investors are noticing. For the five-day period leading up to Monday’s session, YINN’s average volume was nearly 238,000 shares per day, well above the trailing 30-day average of about 167,300 shares, according to Direxion data. Over those five days, YINN’s average volume topped the 20-day average by 31.5%. Only four of Direxion’s triple-leveraged ETFs saw great increases in volume over that period.
In a sign that some traders are either betting the rally in China ETFs will soon end or are hedging long positions in FXI, the Direxion Daily FTSE China Bear 3X Shares (NYSEArca: YANG) has seen its volume and shares outstanding swell. YANG, YINN’s bearish equivalent, is one of the four Direxion leveraged ETFs that has seen its volume jump more than YANG over the past week. [Bracing for Downside in a big China ETF]
YANG’s five-day average volume was almost 114% above the trailing 20-day average, according to issuer data. Last week, YANG’s shares outstanding surge 46%.
Bets on YANG are proving risky while long positions in YINN are clearly being rewarded. Of the 25 ETFs that have 52-week highs to this point Monday, 11 are China funds, including FXI and YINN.
YANG’s 30-day variance versus three times its underlying index’s performance is -4.4%, which is not nearly as bad as the variances seen over that period by leveraged inverse Russia and gold miners ETFs. YINN’s 30-day variance versus triple the performance of the FTSE China 50 Index is 3.93%, according to Direxion data.
Direxion Daily FTSE China Bull 3X Shares