The Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) is off 4.6% over the past month, but those declines have been enough to prompt short sellers to take profits in the largest and most heavily traded U.S.-listed exchange traded fund tracking Russian stocks.
As ETF Trends reported Monday, 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.
Flows data indicate some traders have also been departing the Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3x Shares (NYSEArca: RUSS), the triple-leveraged answer to RSX. Since the start of June, investors have pulled $22.4 million from Russ, more than triple the $7.4 million that has flowed out of RSX. That does not mean some traders are eschewing leverage with Russia ETFs. [Increased Activity in International Leveraged ETFs]
Since the start of this month, the Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: RUSL) has hauled in almost $55.1 million in new assets despite falling 2.3%. Traders are betting on RUSL even as volatility in Russian stocks rises.
Although short interest in RSX 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.
As would be expected from triple-leveraged ETFs, RUSL and RUSS underscore the volatile nature of Russian stocks. Over the past 30 days, RUSL and RUSS have been Direxion’s most volatile triple-leveraged bullish and bearish funds, according to issuer data.
That volatility can lead to some wide deviations in performance relative to triple the funds’ underlying index. For example, RUSS’s 30-day variance versus triple the returns of the Market Vectors Russia Index is -8.38%, according to Direxion data. [Russia ETFs Lure Leveraged Bets]
Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3x Shares