It is still up 27.2% this year, making it one of the best non-China emerging markets exchange traded funds, but the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) is off 6.3% over the past month. Those declines appear to be enough some RSX bears into temporary hibernation.
Short interest in RSX “was about 3 percent last week. That compares with 9 percent in mid-May and is near the lowest level this year, data compiled by Markit Group Ltd. show,” according to Bloomberg.
Although short interest in RXS, the largest and most heavily traded U.S.-listed Russia ETF, has dwindled, volatility in the ETF has been rising. mid outbreaks of new military fighting in Ukraine, volatility in RSX, the largest and most heavily traded Russia ETF, is on the rise.
“Thirty-day historical volatility in the Market Vectors Russia ETF jumped to 31 percent last week (the week ended June 12) after bottoming out at 21 percent on May 29. The price increased 0.8 percent to $18.16 in the five days through Friday, ending a three-week streak of declines in New York,” according to Bloomberg.
Earlier this month, the Bank of Russia cut its one-week auction to 11.5% from 12.5%. Just six months ago, Russia’s central bank boosted its benchmark interest rate to 17% from 10.5%. However, rising inflation there is seen as a hurdle to additional easing. Last week, the Bank of Russia estimated June inflation to be 15.6%. [Russia Economy, ETFs on the Mend]
Despite its penchant for volatility, RSX has attracted new investments this year as investors have poured nearly $258 million into the ETF. RSX’s three-year standard deviation is 27.2%, according to Market Vectors data. That is nearly 1,500 basis points above the comparable metric on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.