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Nearing Bear Markets, Brics Gain Cash

Nearing Bear Markets, Brics Gain Cash

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on September 30, 2014

Despite a tumultuous September for emerging markets stocks and exchange traded funds, investors continue allocating cash to two of the most volatile developing economies: Brazil and Russia.

Last week, investors poured $290 million into the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWZ) while the Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSEArca: RSX) added $182.4 million, bringing third-quarter inflows for the two ETFs to $864.6 million and $429.5 million, respectively.

This month, investors have not been rewarded for their faith in the two BRIC nations. Not as EWZ and RSX limp towards bear market territory. RSX, the largest and most heavily traded Russia ETF, slumped 3% Monday on above average volume, bringing the ETF’s September loss to 4.1%. RSX is now down 19.5% year-to-date, putting the ETF dangerously close to the 20% decline necessary to qualify the fund for the ominous bear market distinction. [Russia ETFs Near Bear Market, but Still Gain Assets]

On Monday, Russia’s RTS Index, a dollar-denominated gauge of Russian stocks, “entered a bear market as a court ruling restricting AFK Sistema from receiving dividend payments from its OAO Bashneft unit wiped a quarter off the holding’s value,” reports Ksenia Galouchko for Bloomberg.

Russia’s ruble fell to a record low Monday against a basket of U.S. dollars and euros even after the central bank attempted to assuage skittish global investors by saying it would step in to support the flailing currency.

Also on Monday, EWZ slid 6% on volume that was more than double the daily average after the most recent Datafolha polls shows Rousseff’s lead over challenger Marina Silva widening. Rousseff now leads Silva 47% to 43%. “Rousseff’s also gained in first round intentions, rising to 40 percent from 37 percent a week earlier increasing her chances she could win outright without a second round. Silva’s first-round support fell to 27 percent from 30 percent,” reports Reuters.

To be precise, EWZ fell 5.96% Monday after entering the session with a September loss of 13.75%, meaning the ETF is off 19.71% since its Sept. 3 peak, or just 29 basis points from officially entering a bear market. [Brazil ETF Close to Bear Market]

With Monday’s slide, EWZ has ceded the second spot among the four major BRIC single-country ETFs to the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: FXI). RSX the worst of the quartet this year while the WisdomTree India Earnings Fund (NYSEArca: EPI) is easily the top performer.

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