This Week in Emerging Market Volatility

Both EEM and EWZ had a tough week. Unlike the US markets which dropped and rebounded, emerging markets did not rebound as the perceived risk has gone up very quickly for emerging markets due to the surprise that was Cyprus begging last weekend. Despite good performance from the US markets this year, EEM is now down 5.4% for the year while EWZ has lost about 4% on the year. The weak performance for these two markets resulted in much higher VXEEM and VXEWZ readings for the week. What was different about the change in volatility for VXEEM and VXEWZ versus VIX or VXN this past week was the movement along the curve. VIX futures were slightly higher last week and VXN futures actually were lower despite the indexes moving up. VXEEM and VXEWZ futures moved up and the result was more of a parallel shift in the curve relative to the unusual action in US index volatility trading.