Attention has focused heavily on China, Italy and NAFTA. But suddenly today another part of the world is in play.
The iShares Brazil ETF (EWZ) rallied 6 percent today and has gained 8 percent in the last week. That places it well ahead of the S&P 500 and other emerging markets over the same periods.
Bullish political news is driving the rally, with a poll today showing a 10 point lead for presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. That seems to be a sharp swing from last week, when news reports suggested he would lose to leftist candidate Fernando Haddad.
The election is scheduled for this Sunday, October 7. If neither politician wins a majority (which often happens in Brazil), a second round will be held on October 28. Polls show Bolsonaro and Haddad tied in a potential head-to-head second round.
Here are some of the big symbols to watch when it comes to Brazil:
- iShares Brazil ETF (EWZ) is the busiest symbol, averaging over 240,000 options contracts per session in the last month.
- Petrobras (PBR): The quasi-public oil company is the only other Latin American stock to trade more than 100,000 options contracts on a daily basis.
- Vale (VALE): The metals company ripped to a new multiyear high today.
- Gerdau (GGB): A Sao Paulo-based steelmaker.
- Banco Bradesco (BBD) and Itau Unibanco (ITUB): Brazil’s two largest banks.