The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ), the largest exchange traded fund tracking Brazilian stocks, fell by more than 1.5% Tuesday, extending a gloomy run that has seen the fund tumble nearly 44% over the past year.
Slack GDP estimates and a tumbling real are among the downside catalysts pressuring Brazilian stocks and EWZ. Brazil’s planning ministry attributes a major portion of the turn to the projected depreciation of about 21% in the real currency against the U.S. dollar. [Brazil ETF Slides, Bleeds Assets]
Brazil’s real is in a wicked slump against against the dollar and resides at multi-year lows against the greenback. The real could face increasing pressure as global investors price in the rising odds of additional credit downgrades for Brazil. [Bad News for Brazil ETFs]
However, a potential catalyst looms for Brazilian stocks, though investors should note that catalyst is far flung at best. That catalyst is the possible impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
“A group of high-profile lawyers, including a former member of the ruling Workers’ Party, will file a request on Wednesday to begin impeachment proceedings against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, alleging she continued to doctor fiscal accounts this year,” reports Bloomberg.
Rousseff’s popularity has sagged amid wide-ranging graft scandal at Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Brazil’s state-run oil company. Additionally, many Brazilians and investors blame Rousseff for the loss of Brazil’s investment-grade credit rating. Last month, Standard & Poor’s downgraded Brazil to junk status.