Brazilian stocks and exchange traded funds are trying to get in gear in March although trading has been very volatile lately.
The iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund (EWZ) is in the green for March after a strong early month rally, but is now on a three-day losing streak. Riding an uptrend, the fund is now trading above its 50-day and 200-day simple moving average. Some technical traders are talking about a so-called cup-and-handle pattern in EWZ, a bullish formation.
"Brazil's economy appears to be bottoming out after dismal performances in the last couple of years, growing at just 0.9% last year, down from 7.5% in 2010 and 2.7% in 2011," Neena Mishra, ETF research director at Zacks Investment Research, said in an Investor's Business Daily article. "Despite economic slowdown, job market and consumption has remained strong. Now with inflation creeping up, the central bank may be forced to raise rates much earlier than previously expected."
Brazilian industrial output expanded a seasonally adjusted 2.5% in January month-over-month, beating out expectations of a 1.6% rise, as government stimulus measures helped bolster spending.
However, with inflation rising to 6.31% in February from 6.15% in January, the Brazilian central bank could increase its interest rates, which stand at 7.25%, by 0.25% in its next few meetings, according to Nick Chamie, global head of foreign exchange strategy and emerging markets research at RBC Capital Market.
Additionally, the EGShares Brazil Infrastrucuture Index ETF (BRXX) offers a focused approach to the country's infrastructure boom.
iShares MSCI Brazil Index Fund
Max Chen contributed to this article.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.