September is off to a gloomy start as major equity indexes kicked off the month on a sour note. Stocks broadly traded lower as investors fretted over worse-than-expected ISM data, which inevitably caused concerns of a manufacturing slowdown on the homefront to resurface. Slightly better-than-expected motor vehicles sales offered little relief, although a late rally certainly helped to quell some of the losses on the day. Investors will look forward to a host of data in the coming days including a much awaited ECB rate decision and U.S. unemployment on Friday [see also Why Peter Schiff Urges a Return To a Gold Standard].
The spotlight turns to overseas today as markets digest the latest economic growth reading out of Australia. As such, our ETF to watch for the day is the iShares MSCI Australia Index Fund (EWA, A-) as it may stage a volatile reaction at the opening bell following the overnight reaction to Aussie GDP. Analysts are expecting for Australia’s economy to have expanded by 3.7% on a year-over-year basis, which would be a sizable contraction given the previous reading of 4.3% [see also Easy-As-ABC ETFdb Portfolio].
EWA has managed to break above its 200-day moving average (yellow line) since bottoming out in early June of this year. Since then, this ETF has traded higher within a fairly well-defined price channel (blue line) and may currently present an attractive entry point. Notice how EWA has managed to hold above $23 a share backed by above-average trading volumes; this suggests that buyers have stepped in at current levels, seeing as how this ETF recently held above this level on August 2, 2012 [see also ETF Tools Every Investor Needs].
Conservative investors looking to jump in long may wish to consider waiting until EWA establishes definitive support above $23 a share; notice how this ETF is currently near the middle of its price channel, which suggests that it may decline closer to its lower-half near $22.50 a share before resuming its march higher [see also ETF Technical Trading FAQ].
A bullish GDP surprise could inspire a rally for Australian equities; in terms of upside, EWA has major resistance at the $24 level. On the other hand, a disappointing economic growth reading may very well knock EWA back towards its 200-day moving average; in terms of downside, the first minor support level for this ETF comes in at $23 a share followed by the $22.50 level. As always, investors of all experience levels are advised to use stop-loss orders and practice disciplined profit-taking techniques.
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.