Emerging markets have taken a beating as of late with massive outflows for a variety of concerns stemming from global slowdown and Fed uncertainty. Despite proxy-wars, recession, and economic sanctions, a wildly volatile country has produced the best returns for its single-country ETF owner.
The Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX), the largest Russia exchange traded fund trading in the U.S., fell more than 2% Monday as oil prices retreated, but with oil rising over the past month, RSX has climbed more than 5%.
And don’t look now, but RSX has surged 15.4% year-to-date, easily the best performance among the major single-country ETFs tracking stocks in BRIC nations. None of the other major BRIC ETFs have posted positive year-to-date showings.
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 remain cautious over market outlook, and While President Vladimir Putin and other Russian politicians argue that the worst is over, the economy is expected to remain in recession for the year. Investors are also expressing concern regarding one of Russia’s worst recessions in the post-Soviet era. [Issues for Russia ETFs]
RSX’s “turnaround came as oil, the nation’s largest export, rebounded 23 percent from a six-year low and the ruble rallied the most among the world’s currencies, boosting speculation that the country’s economic slump will be milder than forecast. The dollar-denominated RTS Index completed the biggest gain since 2009 last week as government troops and separatists pulled back tanks and light weapons in eastern Ukraine, fueling speculation that a cease-fire will lead to an easing of international sanctions against Russia linked to the conflict,” reports Elena Popina for Bloomberg.