Budget is bad News for Brazil ETFs

Long contending with a seemingly never-ending spate of troubling headlines, exchange traded funds tracking Brazilian equities are once again being punished Thursday on news Finance Minister Joaquim Levy plans to pare the budget in Latin America’s economy.

Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa is on a five-day losing streak and the WisdomTree Brazilian Real ETF (NYSEArca: BZF) is off 1.3% today, trading near all-time lows. BZF has tumbled nearly 14% this year. Those factors are weighing on the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) and the Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: BRF).

Like BZF, BRF finds itself in the all-time low club down 3.6% on above average volume. The Brazil small-cap ETF has plunged 30.1% this year. EWZ is dodging ominous all-time or 52-week low labels, but the biggest Brazil ETF is still lower by almost 4% and is trading at its lowest levels since March. EWZ has slipped 21.2% over the past 90 days, firmly putting the ETF in bear market territory. [Risk/Reward With Brazil ETFs]

President Dilma Rousseff’s administration has been trimming spending and increasing taxes in an effort to strengthen Brazil’s tenuous grasp on its investment-grade credit rating, reports Denyse Godoy for Bloomberg.

Last year, Standard & Poor’s pared Brazil’s sovereign debt rating to BBB-, the lowest investment grade. S&P did raise its outlook on Brazilian debt to stable from negative, which implied further downgrades from the ratings agency, let alone default, were unlikely in the near-term. [S&P Downgrade Hampers Brazil ETFs]

“Moody’s Investors Service, which met with officials in Brazil last week, has a negative outlook on the country’s grade,” according to Bloomberg.