The Shanghai Composite (SSEC), the benchmark index for stocks trading on mainland China, fell 13.3% this week. Not only does that firmly fit the definition of a correction, it was good for the eighth-worst weekly decline in the benchmark’s history.
Not surprisingly, U.S.-listed exchange traded funds holding China A-shares, which are among the world’s top performers this year, are getting hammered. Losses for the non-leveraged A-shares ETFs trading in New York range from 4.7% for the CSOP FTSE China A50 ETF (NYSEArca: AFTY) to 7.6% for the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 500 China A-Shares Small Cap Fund (NYSEArca: ASHS).
The Market Vectors ChinaAMC SME-ChiNext ETF (NYSEArca: CNXT) is off 6.7%. CNXT and ASHS have more than doubled this year, making the pair the two best-performing non-leveraged ETFs. CNXT and ASHS are off an average of 12.7% this week. As for the one leveraged A-shares ETF, it is getting drubbed, too. On volume that is nearly triple the daily average, the Direxion 2x Daily CSI 300 China A Share ETF (NYSEArca: CHAU), which debuted two months ago, is lower by 10.4% and is Friday’s worst-performing ETF on a percentage basis. [Upping the Ante With China ETFs]
All of that is good news for the Direxion Daily CSI 300 China A Share Bear 1x Shares (NYSEArca: CHAD). CHAD debuted on Wednesday. Coincidence or not, that is enviable timing for a new ETF. With Friday’s A-shares bloodbath, CHAD is up 5.2%, making it the day’s second-best ETF. With bearish sentiment building against A-shares, CHAD’s near-term upside potential is significant.
“Short interest in the largest exchange-traded fund tracking yuan-denominated equities rose to a record 16 percent of shares outstanding Wednesday as bets on a price drop almost doubled from a month ago, according to data compiled by Markit and Bloomberg. Traders pulled $258 million from the Deutsche X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares ETF (NYSEArca: ASHR) last week, the most since the fund was created in 2013,” according to Bloomberg.