After plunging 47.2% last year in a performance that placed it among 2014’s worst non-leveraged exchange traded funds, the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) has climbed more than 26% this year.
That makes RSX one of the year’s best non-leveraged ETFs and one of a small amount of non-China emerging markets funds to deliver a noteworthy 2015 showing. However, as is often par for the course with Russia stocks and ETFs, RSX’s resurgence has not been free of volatility. Amid 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 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.
Increased volatility paints a muddled picture for RSX. The ETF is up more than 2% over the past week, but in the past month, the fund has tumbled 10.3%. Russian stocks got some positive news earlier this month when the World Bank said it sees Russia’s economy rebounding.
The World Bank pointed to improving conditions and a potential return to growth next year, with higher oil prices supporting the economy. The World Bank estimates that oil prices will average $58.0 per barrel this year and $63.6 per barrel in 2015. Brent crude oil futures were up 1.3% Tuesday, trading around $65.7 per barrel. [Country ETF Winners and Losers as Oil Prices Rise]
RSX allocates 42.9% of its weight to energy stocks, more than two and a half times the ETF’s weight to materials names, the fund’s second-largest sector allocation.