Brazil on the Brink: ETFs Flail as Country Flirts With Recession

ETF Trends

Just when it looked safe to tip-toe back into the waters of Brazil exchange traded funds that situation has rapidly become unappealing.

From the start of September through Oct. 22, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) , the largest Brazil ETF by asset, surged more than 20%. Along the way, EWZ erased the bear market it entered earlier this year, one induced by the global commodities slowdown, fears about China’s economic strength and speculation of Federal Reserve Tapering. [Worst Global Markets by ETFs]

More than half of those gains have evaporated as EWZ has plunged 11.2% since Oct. 23. That includes Tuesday’s 1.4% loss that occurred on volume that was more than 50% above the trailing 90-day average. EWZ is not the only Brazil ETF offender. The Market Vectors Brazil ETF (BRF) lost 0.7% on above average volume Tuesday and is now lower by almost 9% in the past month.

The Global X Brazil Consumer ETF (BRAQ) is also off almost 9% in the pats month. In November, Citigroup sounded a bearish tone on Brazilian retailers, saying “Slower demand presents top-line risks for Brazilian retailers exposed to the mid- and lower-income segments. Moreover, inflation could push operating expenses up while rising interest rates pressure financial costs for leveraged companies.” [Citi Tepid on Brazilian Consumer Stocks]

Muddling the near- to medium-term outlook for Brazil ETFs was news out Tuesday that Latin America’s largest economy shrank 0.5% in the third quarter. That is the first contraction for Brazil’s economy since 2009.

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