Dion's Friday ETF Winners and Losers
WinnersMarket Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) 4.5%
Consumers around the globe are beginning to feel the pinch of rising oil prices. For energy producers, however, crude's ascension is a boon. RSX is designed to provide investors with expansive exposure to the Russia equity markets. However, with nearly 40% of its portfolio dedicated to producers like Gazprom and Lukoil, the fund also presents a unique play on energy.
Not all BRIC nations are seeing strength as we end a shortened trading week. India, for instance, is taking a hit, with funds like the Market Vectors India Small Cap Index ETF (SCIF) stumbling to a noticeable loss.
Market Vectors Vietnam ETF (VNM) 2.9%
The Vietnam ETF has secured a spot on the winners' list on more than one occasion this week, as the fund quickly recovers ground lost during last year's downturn. This most recent six-day rally has pushed the fund back to levels last seen in mid-September. Looking to the week ahead, it will be interesting to see if the fund has some fuel left in the tank.
Mixed action can be found elsewhere in Asia. The iShares MSCI Indonesia Index Fund (EIDO) is taking a hit as inflation concerns mount.
iShares MSCI Europe Financials Index Fund (EUFN) 1.5%
Despite scoring impressive gains at the end of the week, EUFN is not a fund I would encourage investors to try their luck with at this time. Greece has secured its second bailout, but the region is not out of the woods yet. As long as sentiment continues to swing wildly, this is a product best watched from the sidelines.
LosersiPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ) -7.8%
At the same time that oil prices are pushing higher, natural gas continues to trade in a choppy manner. Heading into the weekend, futures-backed products like GAZ and the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) are locked in negative territory. GAZ's swings continue to be magnified by the ETN's staggering premium.
Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (KWT) -2.6%
Natural gas isn't the only corner of the energy spectrum taking lumps at the end of the week. Solar energy is also taking a hit. With this loss, KWT has retreated back to its 50-day moving average, locking in new February lows.
The weakness is weighing on broad alternative energy ETFs as well. The PowerShares WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (PBW) is off more than 1% in afternoon trading.
ProShares UltraShort 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TBT) -0.9%
Major U.S. stock market indices are sitting in positive territory, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average flirting with the 13,000 level. However, investors are unwilling to unload their exposure to safe-haven long-term U.S. treasuries.