Tariff Talk Sparked Activity in Mexico ETF

MarketsETF Trends

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

The iShares MSCI Mexico Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EWW), the largest exchange traded fund dedicated to Mexican equities, is slightly lower over the past month, but the fund's performance can be considered decent in the face of tariff talk from the White House.

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EWW allocates almost a quarter of its weight to consumer staples with telecom and financial services names combining for nearly a third of the ETF’s weight. Last week, options activity increased in EWW as tariff talked swirled.

On March 8th, options activity in EWW reached “four times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and volume pacing in the 97th annual percentile. As a point of comparison, fewer than 1,100 puts have traded, about one-fifth of the expected intraday amount,” according to Schaeffer's Investment Research.

Speculation is swirling about the U.S. and its place in NAFTA with some market observers assessing the possibility of the U.S. withdrawing from the free trade accord. That move is potentially devastating for Mexico’s economy.

“Technically, the fund hasn't traded north of $56 since last September, but was seen above $52 in late February. And while the shares are off 6.6% from their Jan. 25 year-to-date high of $54.65, they are holding above a key Fibonacci level, and are currently trading in their most bullish month of the year,” according to Schaeffer's.

EWW has almost $900 million in assets under management, tracks the MSCI Mexico IMI 25/50 Index and holds 60 stocks. The ETF has a three-year standard deviation of 17.76% and a trailing 12-month dividend yield of 2.18%.

The peso is an important part of the Mexico investment thesis because exports account for over a third of GDP in Latin America’s second-largest economy. So are oil prices because Mexico is one of the largest non-OPEC producers in Latin America. However, oil output in Mexico is expected to decline this year.

For more information on the Mexican markets, visit our Mexico category.

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