WisdomTree Japan Currency ETF Hits a Stumbling Block

NEW YORK ( Fabian Capital Management) -- One of the hottest ETFs of the year has been the WisdomTree Japan Hedged Currency ETF ( DJX), which hit an intraday high in May and has since fallen nearly 18% over the last 10 trading sessions.

Prior to this selloff, DXJ had posted gains of over 46% in 2013, which put it in the top 1% of ETF performers this year. According to Index Universe, DXJ is the top gatherer of new assets this year, with investors pouring over $7.6 billion of new money into this surging economy.

As you can see on the chart below, DXJ has fallen below its 50-day moving average and appears poised to continue its recent descent. At times like these I am reminded of the adage that "the bigger they are, they harder they fall." This appears to be the case with DXJ as early investors are more than likely taking profits and standing aside at this juncture.

This WisdomTree fund differentiates itself from the widely held iShares Japan ETF ( EWJ) by carrying an additional currency component that hedges its exposure to the Japanese yen. Put simply, DXJ will outperform EWJ when the yen is falling in value against rival foreign currencies.

Looking at a chart of the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust ( FXY), you can see that the yen has recently regained momentum which will act as a headwind for DXJ.

If this yen continues this recent ascent and the Nikkei 225 index continues to fall, DXJ will find itself fighting two separate forces, which may exacerbate the selloff. Ultimately this decline will be healthy in the sense that these stocks can work off some of their overbought momentum and allow new investors the opportunity to purchase this ETF on a pullback.

The real question is whether or not the aggressive quantitative easing measures implemented by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will continue to stimulate Japanese stocks and devalue their currency. So far the experiment has produced positive results but the recent selloff is the first real test of investors' resolve.

In addition, because Japanese stocks have been a leader on the upside all year long, U.S. markets may ultimately take their cue from the land of the rising sun. The S&P 500 Index has started to see its first real signs of weakness in 2013 that can be attributed to weaker economic data at home as well as global stock declines.

I still believe that DXJ is a unique investment opportunity for playing the Japanese stock market but I am cautious about entering this position until we have seen some stability return. It's always advantageous to purchase a position on a pullback in price, but I never try to catch a falling knife.

Traders who are looking to make an entry into this sector may look to use the 50-day moving average as an upside target on DXJ if it can regain those levels. Remember that with a high beta position like DXJ you should always implement a risk management strategy such as a stop loss to guard against an even more protracted decline.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
David Fabian is currently a Managing Partner at Fabian Capital Management, a fee-only registered investment advisory firm specializing in exchange-traded funds. He has years of experience constructing actively managed growth and income portfolios using ETFs. David regularly contributes his views on wealth management in his company blog, podcasts, and special reports. Visit www.FabianCM.com to learn more.

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