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As trade war rages on, technician makes contrarian play on beaten-down group of stocks

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Technician makes contrarian play

Escalating trade tensions have hit emerging markets hard this month.

The EEM emerging markets ETF, which has exposure to developing economies such as China and India, has plummeted 8% in May, more than double the loss of the S&P 500.

With the trade war still a looming fear for markets, Miller Tabak equity strategist Matt Maley is making a contrarian play on the group.

"Obviously when you see volatility in the U.S. markets you always try to look for something that people aren't necessarily focusing on that might surprise you and just looking at the EEM emerging market ETF, it's now gotten to a point where it's getting pretty oversold," Maley told CNBC's "Trading Nation" on Tuesday.

Emerging markets' relative strength index, a measure of momentum, has fallen to 33. Typically, any reading below 30 suggests oversold conditions.

"More importantly it's gotten down to its 200-week moving average and that's been a key line for the EEM in both directions over the last couple of years. In fact, in 2017 when it broke above that line, it rallied another 36% so it had a big move there. Now that resistance has become support," Maley said.

Gina Sanchez, CEO of Chantico Global, said there's a chance emerging markets could get a bid, but she needs to see two things happen.

"You might buy into emerging markets believing that a) emerging markets are going to do better, b) the dollar is going to weaken from here and if we did see some dovishness out of the [Federal Open Market Committee] that would be the cherry on top," she said during the same segment.

However, Sanchez is still a skeptic that emerging markets can make a real comeback from here.

"Emerging markets also trade with sentiment and right now risk sentiment is really negative and I think you will have to go through a lot of pain before you see that pan out. Emerging markets have been cheap for a while, they're still kind of cheap. I don't know if I would dip a toe in quite yet," she said.