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Emerging opportunity? Why the 'trade of the year' may still have room to run

Emerging market equities have thrived this year as the U.S. dollar has lost value against rival currencies, and some see even more upside ahead in the emerging markets space.

"This has been the trade of the year and has recently stumbled on the back of [Fed Chair Janet] Yellen's hawkish comments. But we think this trade still has legs," Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Monday.

The greenback will likely appreciate in the near term, Sanchez said, which is seen as a negative factor for emerging markets. However, she said such strength in the greenback would be a buying opportunity rather than a long-term setback for emerging market equities. A stronger U.S. dollar relative to emerging market currencies typically negatively impacts the firms in their respective countries.

It is unlikely the dollar strength will continue in any meaningful way, Sanchez said, as she doesn't believe the economic backdrop is healthy enough to prop up a strong greenback. This comes even as the Federal Reserve is in the midst of a monetary tightening cycle, hiking interest rates, which has the potential to breathe new life into the dollar.

"The biggest driver for emerging markets has been the global recovery in growth in many key emerging market countries. We've seen significant catch-up recoveries in Brazil, Russia and Turkey," she said.

One of the largest emerging markets exchange-traded funds, the EEM, has appreciated 31 percent this year, on pace for its best year since 2009.

Peering into the fund, the largest holdings are Chinese and other Asian technology companies, such as Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu. These firms, Sanchez said, are actually the weakest part of the emerging markets story, as China enters into a cycle aimed at tightening capital outflows.

"These holdings represent a risk to the overall story," Sanchez said, but her outlook for growth in the emerging markets outweighs the risks faced by Chinese technology firms.

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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Brian Sullivan

Brian Sullivan is co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F,1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running programs, as well as the host of the daily investing program "Trading Nation." He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and other NBC properties.

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