It is down nearly 3% today, but the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) is still up 34.1% this year-to-date, making it one of the best-performing non-leveraged exchange traded funds for the year.
To be precise, RSX came into Tuesday as the eighth-best non-leveraged ETF, but that has not stopped some traders from expressing bearish views on RSX, the largest and most heavily traded Russia ETF listed in the U.S.
Nearly 9% of RSX’s shares outstanding were sold short at the end of last week, “ five times more than the average for U.S.-traded ETFs with assets above $1 billion and close to the highest level since a Ukraine cease-fire agreement in February stoked a 15 percent rally in the dollar-denominated RTS Index,” reports Halia Pavliva for Bloomberg.
RSX’s 2105 rebound is made all the more impressive when considering the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO) is up less than 1% on the year. Russia, one of the largest non-OPEC producers in the world, prices its crude exports in Brent, the global benchmark contract. [Bracing for a new oil Order]
Dialing back on its ruble-crisis-mode management, Russia’s central bank cut interest rates by 150 basis points to 12.5% Thursday and hinted at further cuts soon, CNBC reports. The central bank has been incrementally reducing rates after a surprise hike in December to 17% from 10.5% in an attempt to manage the quickly depreciating ruble and rising inflation.
Looking ahead, observers are remain cautious over the market outlook. While President Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians argue that the worst is over, the economy is expected to remain in a recession for the year. [Russia ETFs on the Mend]