Oil prices keep sliding lower and that is an ongoing burden for scores of emerging markets exchange traded funds. The Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) is no exception to that rule.
The combination of a weakening energy outlook and the depreciating currencies are dragging on the ETFs that cover the major exporting countries. For instance, the energy sector makes up more than 40% of the portfolio in RSX. Looking ahead, observers are remain cautious over the market outlook. While President Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians argue that the worst is over, the economy is expected to remain in a recession for the year. Investors are also expressing concern regarding one of Russia’s worst recessions in the post-Soviet era. [More Issues for Russia ETFs]
Russia is the largest non-OPEC oil producer in the world and it prices its oil in Brent terms, an important factor when noting the United States Brent Oil Fund (NYSEArca: BNO) slid to a new 52-week low on Thursday.
In June, the Bank of Russia cut its one-week auction to 11.5% from 12.5%. Just six months ago, Russia’s central bank boosted its benchmark interest rate to 17% from 10.5%. However, rising inflation there is seen as a hurdle to additional easing. Last week, the Bank of Russia estimated June inflation to be 15.6%. [Russia Economy, ETFs on the Mend]
However, the combination of Russia’s latest interest policy and slumping oil prices has made the ruble one of the worst-performing emerging markets currencies, bad news for a country that depends on oil for a larger part of government revenue than any other non-OPEC nation.