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Brazil ETFs Strengthen on Realistic Government Guidance

Brazil country-specific exchange traded funds were among the best performing assets Friday after the government revealed a shrinking budget deficit next year.

On Friday, the iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) rose 4.6% and the iShares MSCI Brazil Small-Cap ETF (EWZS) gained 4.4%. Meanwhile, the two times leveraged ProShares Ultra MSCI Brazil (UBR) jumped 9.5% and the Direxion Daily Brazil Bull 3x Shares (BRZU) surged 13.9%.

Related: Brazil ETFs Roar Back as Government Incompetence Ends

Brazil ETFs were also supported by a stronger real currency, which appreciated 2.1% to 3.3 per dollar mid-Friday.

Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said the government will target a budget gap before interst payments of 139 billion reais, or $42 billion, next year, compared to this year’s primary deficit of 170.5 billion reais, Bloomberg reports.

The government of Acting President Michel Temer is trying to restore confidence in the country’s finances after losing its investment-grade rating in 2015.

“It’s actually about the realistic aspect of it,” Sacha Tihanyi, a senior emerging markets strategist at TD Securities, said told Bloomberg. “First of all, the ’whisper number’ was worse, so the government set up an opportunity to surprise the market positively. Also, it appears to be a realistic target, which the government can potentially outperform should Brazil’s recovery be moderately better.”

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The Brazilian markets have been among the best performers of 2016, with EWZ up 41.4% and EWZ 45.7% higher year-to-date, as traders speculated the new administration would better manage a growing budget deficit and pull the country out of its worst recession in a century.

“The market feels much more confident now,” Paulo Henrique Amantea, an analyst at Guide Investimentos, told Bloomberg. “The trend for stocks is positive.”

For instance, Morgan Stanley recently upgraded its outlook on Petroleo Brasileiro SA, the state-controlled producer that is trying to shake off a corruption scandal, reports Denyse Godoy for Bloomberg.

Related: Corruption Probe Plagues Brazil ETF

“Our overweight rating is driven by improved fundamentals and higher oil prices,” analysts at Morgan Stanley led by Bruno Montanari wrote in a note. “Asset valuations are likely to improve in a higher oil price environment.”

Petrobras makes up about 7.9% of EWZ’s underlying portfolio.

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iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF