Enter The Bear For These EM ETFs (EPI, EWT, GUR)
EWZ, the largest Brazil ETF, has achieved that ominous fate, closing just over $51 on Tuesday after trading above $70 in March. The fund is now 31% removed its 52-week high over $74, but it's far from the only marquee emerging markets ETF that has swooned into bear market territory.
There are others. Lots of others, indicating investors might be facing an uphill climb in 2012 if they want to have their investing passports stamped in search of higher returns. Just take a look at this roster of well-known bear market offenders.
Market Vectors Indonesia Index ETF (NYSE: IDX) At this point, it might be hard to remember that IDX has been one of the best-performing ETFs of any stripe since the March 2009 market bottom.
Looking back, it's not surprising IDX is on this list. Even in February when most emerging markets ETFs were looking good, IDX was lagging, perhaps a sign bad things were on the horizon. IDX is now stuck in the middle so to speak. The fund is 20% above its 52-week low, but 20% below its 52-week high.
iShares MSCI Taiwan Index Fund (NYSE: EWT) While the merits of Taiwan as an emerging market are highly debatable, the point here is that, like IDX, EWT flashed some signals that bear market territory was in the forecast. It was only a year ago that this ETF was flirting with $16, but the drubbing EWT endured in the back half of 2011 was so severe that the best EWT could do was flirt with $14 earlier this year.
Now it's flirting with $12 and if the promotion to developed markets status does arrive for Taiwan, EWT will be on the receiving end of more selling pressure.
iShares MSCI Poland Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPOL) We won't even go all the way back to the 52-week because that paints an even gloomier picture, but it should also be said that EPOL was trading over $28 in late October. EPOL closed below $21.50 on Tuesday. The good news, maybe, is that EPOL has shown a tendency to bounce off $21 and rally two higher with two of those moves delivering gains in excess of 20% in just a month. No guarantees that will happen again, though. EPOL currently yields 5%.
SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF (NYSE: GUR) The SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF, which is essentially a Russia ETF with Poland and Turkey kickers, will only be able to withstand a small amount of additional carnage from those three markets before it falls to its 52-week low. As it is, GUR is about 20% removed its March peak and the chart is less-than-appealing for those thinking long.
WisdomTree India Earnings ETF (NYSE: EPI) If one needed more convincing that India might just be the worst of the BRICS for the foreseeable future, we offer up the rancid performance of EPI. The largest India ETF could easily touch a new 52-week low as soon as today.
EPI traded above $21 in February. It closed below $16 on Tuesday. Regarding additional bearish signals, ominous is the fact that EPI's volume has been increasing on the downside.
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