Russia ETFs In Focus Amid U.S. Bombing Of Syrian Forces

With overnight headlines trumpeting that the U.S. launched fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles on a Syria-government airfield, specific country focused ETFs with ties to the region are clearly being affected in trading today.

RSX (VanEck Vectors Russia, Expense Ratio 0.63%, $2.5 billion in AUM) is getting punished today (down 2.6% and trading below its 50 day MA once more), after Russia publicly condemned the U.S. attacks, which the market apparently sees as just more added tension in the region between the players.

Other regional ETFs that may be in focus and perhaps affected in the near term on increased “headline risk” in the region include EIS (iShares MSCI Israel, Expense Ratio 0.62%), ISRA (VanEck Vectors Israel, Expense Ratio 0.60%), QAT (iShares MSCI Qatar Capped, Expense Ratio 0.61%), UAE (iShares MSCI UAE Capped, Expense Ratio 0.62%), GAF (SPDR S&P Middle East & Africa, Expense Ratio 0.49%), GULF (WisdomTree Middle East Dividend, Expense Ratio 0.88%), and perhaps KSA (iShares MSCI Saudi Arabia Capped, Expense Ratio 0.74%), all of which we have spoken about in these pieces before.

In terms of Russia and the volatility there this morning, we are also watching the “Bear” and “Bull” levered Russia plays closely, as they are seeing heavy turnover today as one might expect. RUSS (Direxion Daily Russia Bear 3X, Expense Ratio 0.95%), RUSL (Direxion Daily Russia Bull 3X, Expense Ratio 0.95%), ERUS (iShares MSCI Russia Capped, Expense Ratio 0.62%) and RSXJ (VanEck Vectors Russia Small-Cap, Expense Ratio 0.68%) are all worthy of attention today.

Other ETFs to watch closely going into what promises to be a tension filled weekend with the U.S. and Russia bumping heads yet again include the Aerospace and Defense names that we have covered in this segment in the past as well. The three funds to watch there are ITA (iShares U.S. Aerospace & Defense, Expense Ratio 0.43%), PPA (PowerShares Aerospace & Defense Portfolio, Expense Ratio 0.66%) and XAR (SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense, Expense Ratio 0.35%).

ITA, for example, has seen substantial inflows year-to-date (over $650 million in) while PPA and XAR have seen some inflows, but to a much lesser degree.

The VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE:RSX) was trading at $20.70 per share on Friday morning, down $0.58 (-2.73%). Year-to-date, RSX has declined -2.45%, versus a 5.28% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

RSX currently has an ETF Daily News SMART Grade of A (Strong Buy), and is ranked #5 of 77 ETFs in the Emerging Markets Equities ETFs category.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is excerpted from a daily newsletter from Street One Financial. While ETF Daily News may edit the contents and add a relevant title to the piece, the author, Paul Weisbruch, does not endorse or recommend any issuer or security mentioned herein.

About the Author: Paul Weisbruch

paul-weisbruchPaul Weisbruch is the VP of ETF/Options Sales and Trading at Street One Financial. Prior to joining the team at Street One, Paul served as the Director of RIA and Institutional ETF Sales at RevenueShares ETFs from December 2007 until November of 2009. Before RevenueShares, Paul was employed by Susquehanna International Group from 2000 until 2007 serving in roles including OTC/NYSE Institutional Block Trading, Nasdaq/OTC Market Making, ETF/Derivatives Intelligence and Strategy, Algorithmic Trading, as well as acting as the PHLX Floor Specialist in the ETFs, SPY and DIA.Paul has been actively involved in the ETF space from both a product and trading standpoint since 2000. Additionally, Paul has well forged relationships with national RIAs, institutional pension fund managers and consultants, mutual fund and hedge fund managers, and also the ETF media. Co-authoring the “S1F ETF Daily” since 2009, the daily piece has become a must for many portfolio managers in the ETF space, with segments regularly appearing in the likes of Barron’s, WSJ, and for instance.

He holds his Series 4 (Registered Options Principal), 6, 7, 55 (Equity Trader), 63, and 65 licenses. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh (B.S. – Economics), graduating magna cum laude, and has an MBA from Villanova University.

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