Fragile Five ETFs Not At All Fragile This Year ?

The policy tightening in the U.S. has always been a concern for the emerging market bloc. As we already know, taper talks roiled the emerging markets in 2013 and then kept on disturbing the league occasionally as and when rate hike fears cropped up.

This along with the upheaval in the second-largest emerging market economy, China, led to questions on the health of the entire emerging market segment. Among the bloc, the fear was extreme for the ‘Fragile Five’ countries – Brazil, Turkey, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

This was because as these are hugely reliant on foreign capital to finance their external deficits which put these at risk as the Fed left its easy money era. Widening current account deficit and worsening external debt conditions were the main headaches of the emerging pack.

However, things are in place for the Fragile Five country ETFs so far this year. Several changes – mainly political – have taken place in these countries in nearly three years since the taper tantrums and the key oil market has undergone a tectonic shift. Almost triple-digit then, oil prices went below the $30-a-barrel level a few days back. This gave a huge boost to oil-importing nations like India.

In a nutshell, global markets may be on the rocks this year, but these Fragile Five country ETFs have surged. Below we detail each country ETF and tell you the reason for its outperformance:

Brazil – iShares MSCI Brazil Capped (EWZ)

We represent Brazil with the large-cap ETF EWZ. The fund was up 25.9% in the last one month and is up 24.1 so far this year (as of March 23, 2016). While the economic growth prospect of the country is weakening, heightened political uproar is pushing up its market read: Catch these Brazil ETFs on a Rebound).

And this is not new to the Brazilian stocks and the related ETFs. Previously, we saw how any political drama related to president Dilma Rousseff lured investors to the country’s stocks. Speculation that Rousseff is incapable of dissuading the impeachment proceedings that have been called for against her and the prospect of a change in governance set the Brazil ETFs on fire.

However, we are unsure of the rally. If the ultimate result does not go against Rousseff, the rally may lose its way. EWZ has a Zacks ETF Rank #4 (Sell) with a High risk outlook.

Turkey – iShares MSCI Turkey (TUR)

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