Rare are the times that the iShares MSCI Malaysia ETF (NYSEArca: EWM) requires highlighting multiple times in less than a week, but these are not average times for emerging markets exchange traded funds.
EWM, the lone ETF dedicated to Malaysian equities, flirted with losses of four percent on Tuesday on its way to closing at its lowest levels since February 2010.
Prime Minister Najib Razak has been cutting down on government subsidies to limit fiscal risks in an effort to steer the country toward high-income status and toward more domestic consumption. Consumption is now said account for over half of Malaysia’s gross domestic product. [Malaysia Economy Gains Strength]
While some emerging markets, India being a prime example, have benefited from sliding oil prices, Malaysia is not one of those markets. In fact, the country and EWM have been rocked by plunging commodities prices.
Malaysian stocks EWM have belied the country’s potential as a beacon of strength at a time of tumult for emerging markets equities. Some market observers have posited that the country’s robust foreign currency reserves and net oil importer status would help endure slumps in developing world stocks. EWM’s price action says otherwise.
“The FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index has fallen more than 11 percent from its April 21 peak, while official foreign-exchange reserves dropped below $100 billion for the first time since 2010,” reports William Pesek for Bloomberg.