These EM ETFs Can Extend Their Rallies
By now, it's no secret that some emerging markets ETFs have been on fire to start 2012. That's good news because it indicates investors are once again willing to embrace risk and they're acknowledging emerging markets are still the place to be to find robust economic growth.
Whatever the reasons may be, ETFs tracking markets from Shanghai to Sao Paulo have been juggernauts this year.
Sure, opting for a conservative play like the Vanguard MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (NYSE: EWO), the largest emerging markets ETF on the market today, would have worked in January. The ETF is up over 10.5% year-to-date, but scores of other EM ETFs have outperformed VWO. Let's look at a few that can keep their respective parties going.
Market Vectors Poland ETF (NYSE: PLND) Despite being home to a growing, and we should emphasize non-Euro Zone economy, Poland was the epitome of a guilt by association play last year. That meant almost every negative headline out of the Euro Zone weighted on PLND and its rival, the iShares MSCI Poland Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPOL). Take a look at both funds head to head before deciding. Both are up handsomely this year with solid yields. If PLND gets above $22, it will continue its bullish ways.
SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF (NYSE: GUR) Speaking of being guilty by association and hurt by Europe, we present the SPDR S&P Emerging Europe ETF. GUR has sharply outperformed VWO to start the year and high oil prices are at least one reason why. Energy names account for almost 41% of the fund's sector weight and Russia represents nearly two-thirds of GUR's country weight. Turkey and Poland combine for another 29%. So basically what you're getting here is Russia without Russia in the ETF's name. That means GUR is a useful proxy on oil prices.
Market Vectors Brazil Small-Cap ETF (NYSE: BRF) After a glum 2011, Brazilian ETFs have bounced back nicely in 2012 and the rally has been led by the biggest of them all, the iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (NYSE: EWZ). With Brazil's economy being dynamic, pairing EWZ with a small-cap or sector-specific fund isn't a bad idea and in the battle for the second best Brazil ETF, BRF makes for a worthy contender. BRF may lag EWZ by a small margin as the Bovespa climbs, but it's also reasonable to expect BRF will continue outpacing funds like VWO.
iShares MSCI Philippines Investable Market Index Fund (NYSE: EPHE) We don't often toot our own horns around here, but when you're right, you're right and that's what we have been about EPHE. We were bullish on the ETF in December and again last month. In early February, with the ETF up more than13%, we see no valid reason to change that posture, but we will forecast more gains for this ETF in 2012.
Guggenheim China Technology ETF (NYSE: CQQQ) Oddly enough, this China play might be the most speculative name on this list, but there's no getting around the fact that the Guggenheim China Technology ETF is off to a solid start in 2012. With social media commanding headlines by the nano-second, CQQQ and its rival, the Global X NASDAQ China Technology ETF (Nasdaq: QQQC), could be in for big things this year.
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