NEW YORK ( ETF Digest) -- Russia is beginning to struggle with an aging population while the MENA (Middle East & Africa) sectors have a more youthful and developing consumer market. Demographics play a key role, and in that regard, selections in this diverse region are extremely varied.Some parts of this region would be in the Pioneer category, meaning they're truly in their infancy for investors. Others are quite mature and have existed for quite some time with high AUM (assets under management) investor interest and acceptance.
Russian and South African markets are rich in natural resources making for volatility along with the price action in commodity markets. South Africa has both a high level of natural resources and excellent demographics, meaning a rising consumer base.During 2011, the MENA was swept up in the Arab Spring as long-ruling dictators were thrown out and new regimes took their place. In the first quarter of 2012, this trend is continuing with the current battleground in Syria. It is uncertain how these developments will affect what markets exist in affected countries, whether in Egypt, the Gulf States and so forth. We feature a technical view of conditions from monthly chart views. Simplistically, we recommend longer-term investors stay on the right side of the 12-month simple moving average only if enough data exist to make this useful. For us, many longer-term indices (not displayed) have enough data with which to make good decisions. When prices are above the moving average, stay long, and when below, remain in cash or short. Some more interested in a fundamental approach may not care so much about technical issues preferring instead to buy when prices are perceived as low and sell for other reasons when high but, this is not our approach. Premium members to the ETF Digest receive added signals when markets become extended such as DeMark triggers to exit overbought/oversold conditions.