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April 9, 2018, 12:26 p.m. EDT

Russia ETFs on track for worst day since 2014 after sanctions, geopolitical tensions

Monday decline turns the funds lower for 2018

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By Ryan Vlastelica

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Exchange-traded funds that track the Russian equity market tumbled on Monday and were on track for their biggest one-day drop in years.

The slump followed a new round of sanctions that were imposed on Russian entities and individuals, while tensions between Russia and the U.S. also escalated after a suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria. President Donald Trump tweeted that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, were responsible for backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and said there would be a “big price...to pay.”

The VanEck Vectors Russia ETF /zigman2/quotes/200464876/composite RSX -1.59%  tumbled 9.4%, on track for its worst session since December 2014. The fund traded on volume of nearly 20 million shares, well above its 30-day average of 8 million. Another fund, the iShares MSCI Russia ETF /zigman2/quotes/206979425/composite ERUS -2.33% , sank 10.6% and was also on pace for its biggest decline since December 2014.

The U.S. dollar jumped 3.6% against the Russian ruble /zigman2/quotes/210561862/realtime/sampled USDRUB +0.2016% , which dropped to its lowest level since August.

Related: 4 reasons ruble bulls are optimistic about Russia’s currency

The decline was enough to turn both ETFs lower for the year; the VanEck fund is down 4.3% in 2018 while the iShares fund is off 4.6%. The S&P 500 /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.16% is down 1% year to date while the Dow Jones Industrial Average /zigman2/quotes/210598065/realtime DJIA +1.07%  is off 1.7%.

US : U.S.: Cboe BZX
$ 21.09
-0.34 -1.59%
Volume: 4.49M
July 13, 2020 3:18p
US : U.S.: NYSE Arca
$ 33.92
-0.81 -2.33%
Volume: 131,330
July 13, 2020 3:16p
US : Tullett Prebon
+0.1426 +0.2016%
Volume: 0.0000
July 13, 2020 3:18p
+5.03 +0.16%
Volume: 1.86B
July 13, 2020 3:18p
US : Dow Jones Global
+278.87 +1.07%
Volume: 300.11M
July 13, 2020 3:18p

Ryan Vlastelica is a markets reporter for MarketWatch and is based in New York. Follow him on Twitter @RyanVlastelica.

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