A Rocking Russia ETF
Russian equities and the relevant exchange-traded funds are predictable beneficiaries of rebounding oil prices given the country's status as one of the largest oil producers in the world. The largest Russia ETF trading in New York is higher by nearly 23 percent year-to-date.
Of course, that is very good news for the Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X Shares (Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSE: RUSL)), the first and only triple-leveraged Russia ETF available to traders in the United States. Rebounding Russian stocks have carried RUSL to 43.5 percent year-to-date gain. As experienced users of leveraged ETFs, nearly seven months is not the desired holding period for an ETF such as RUSL, but this ETF can be rewarding as a short-term trade.
RUSL is higher by more than 11 percent over the past month, and some analysts believe Russian stocks can continue delivering upside. That says risk-tolerant traders might want to give RUSL a fresh look.
Rock ‘N’ Roll With Russia
“Investors appear to have ignored the fact that Russian equities have moved into a virtuous circle with inflation rates rolling over, current account surpluses improving alongside rising FX reserves. Moreover, on the ground, economic indicators are either bottoming out or have turned from negative to positive. Even though oil prices are far from their 2014–15 highs, the authorities have kept a very disciplined monetary and fiscal policy to ensure that inflation has remained tempered while fears over a devaluation of the currency have proved groundless,” according to a Jefferies noted posted by Barron's.
RUSL attempts to deliver triple the daily returns of the MVIS Russia Index, the same index tracked by the largest plain vanilla Russia ETF. That benchmark “is a rules-based, modified capitalization weighted, float adjusted index, intended to represent the overall performance of publicly-traded companies that are domiciled and primarily listed on an exchange in Russia or that generate at least 50 percent of their revenues in Russia. Components of the index must have a market capitalization of greater than $150 million on a rebalancing date to be eligible for the index,” according to Direxion.
Russian stocks have a reputation for volatility as highlighted by a three-year standard deviation of 28.1 percent for the largest non-leveraged Russia ETF, which is well above the comparable metric on the MSCI Emerging Markets Index.
However, volatility can work in favor of leveraged ETFs and, importantly, RUSL closely tracks its underlying index. Over the past 30 days, RUSL has only deviated from that index by -0.59 percent, according to Direxion data.
RUSL's bearish equivalent is the Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3X Shares (Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSE: RUSS)).
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