Market Extra: The last big Russia ETF is down 65% for the week as Ukrainian invasion heats up

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The VanEck Russia ETF, which this week announced that it was hitting pause on the creation of new shares, citing growing concerns around liquidity, was trading down 5.3% on Friday and off 65% for the week.

The weekly decline would mark the sharpest such fall for the exchange-traded fund since its creation in 2007 and comes as a number of Russia-related funds have suspended operations amid the crisis in Eastern Europe. RSX, referring to the VanEck’s ticker, trades on the Cboe Global Markets
CBOE,
-0.50%

exchange.

Augmenting troubles for the Russia-specific ETFs, the London Stock Exchange on Thursday became the latest exchange to halt trading in Russian companies, as it announced the suspension of the secondary listings in more than 50 companies, including Gazprom, EN+ and Sberbank.

Trading in the iShares MSCI Russia ETF
ERUS,
-25.51%
,
which also is down more than 60% for the week, was halted by the Intercontinental Exchange
ICE,
+1.21%

-owned NYSE Arca, as of 4 a.m. Eastern Time on Friday.

That announcement came after MSCI Inc. earlier this week said that Russia’s equity markets were uninvestable since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24 and the sanctions that followed thereafter.

“Due to ERUS’ concentrated exposure to Russian equities, the closure of the Russian stock market and MSCI’s decision to remove Russian securities from its Emerging Markets Indexes, BlackRock strongly supports NYSE Arca’s decision and is committed to protecting the best interests of ERUS shareholders,” said BlackRock Inc.
BLK,
-2.92%
,
in a statement.

A request for comment from VanEck wasn’t immediately returned.

Russia’s attack on a nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, which caused a fire that has since been extinguished, was raising some anxieties in the broader market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
-1.40%
,
the S&P 500 index
SPX,
-1.50%

and the Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
-1.69%
,
were all trading sharply lower on Friday.

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