Even before its recently unveiled plan to devalue the yuan, China was having a profoundly negative impact on global equity markets.
Predictable has been the carnage to diversified emerging markets exchange traded funds with large allocations to Chinese stocks as well as the damage incurred by single-country funds representing nations with deep trading ties to China. Just look at the sour performances recently turned in by ETFs tracking the likes of Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia, just to name a few. [Different China Exposures]
However, struggling Chinese stocks are affecting more than just the usual suspects among emerging markets ETFs.
“Chinese stocks continue to reel from a stunning reversal of fortune. It began after the Shanghai Composite Index peaked two months ago, 150% higher than it was a year earlier; stocks promptly lost 32% over the next few weeks. Then, earlier this month, China announced a devaluation and freer float of its currency, the yuan. Both moves are tied to worries about a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy, and the ramifications are likely to weigh down a broad swath of ETFs for the foreseeable future,” reports Chris Dieterich for Barron’s.
Barron’s notes once high-flying alternative energy ETFs, such as the Guggenheim Solar ETF (NYSEArca: TAN). TAN allocates over 38% of its weight to Chinese stocks, making China the ETF’s second-largest country weight behind the U.S.
Amid struggling Chinese stocks and slumping oil prices, TAN hit a 52-week low last Friday. Conventional wisdom dictates that as oil rises, solar stocks benefit because those high oil prices shine a light on the benefits of alternative energy sources, including solar. The reverse is true as oil falls. [Solar ETF’s Holdings See Surge in Short Interest]