Dr. Copper Still Sick, but Chile ETF Improves

ETFtrends.com

Joining the recent recovery by exchange traded funds tracking Latin American countries is the iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (ECH) .

Although volume was below average, the lone Chile ETF eked a small gain Wednesday, the first trading session after a magnitude 8.1 earthquake struck the northern part of the South American nation, resulting in a tsunami warning. While other LatAm ETFs, namely the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) , have firmed in the past month, ECH has joined the party with a one-month gain of 7%. [Emerging Markets ETFs in Rally Mode]

Making ECH’s rally all the more impressive is that over the aforementioned one-month period, the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJC) is off 4.4%. Chile is the world’s largest copper producer and the red metal accounts for a significant portion of government receipts there.

Copper’s impact on Chilean stocks was evident through much of the first quarter. As copper futures and JJC stumbled to start the year, ECH was saddled with a year-to-date loss of 9.4% on March 14. [Copper Pressures Chile ETF]

Now the Chile ETF is knocking on the door of some important technical resistance.

“We know from our polarity principles that former support should become resistance on the first attempt to get back above. In this case, demand overwhelmed supply around the $46 level in August and again throughout December. Once supply took control, prices declined another 13%. Now that we’re back towards 46, will the overhead supply take over once again? Or is there enough Demand to break through?,” writes Eagle Bay Capital President J.C. Parets.

As Parets goes on to note, leadership from ECH, until recently one of the most harshly repudiated emerging markets ETFs, could be telling about the fortunes of the broader emerging markets complex.

At the very least, price action in ECH should serve as a tell regarding what markets are expecting from other LatAm ETFs. Over the past three years, ECH’s average correlation to EWZ, the iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca; EWW) and the iShares Latin American 40 ETF (ILF) is fairly tight at 0.84, according to iShares data.

ECH Correlation Matrix

 

 

Data/Table Courtesy: iShares

 

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of ILF.