For the bulk of 2013, investors have shown a preference for stocks over commodities and fears regarding tapering of the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program have only added to the pressure on commodities ETFs and ETNs. Year-to-date, marquee commodities ETFs such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) are still saddled with significant losses.
GLD, once the second-largest ETF in the world, is down 17.5% this year while SLV is off 24.5%. While GLD, SLV and other commodities ETFs and ETNs still have a long way to turn green on the year, some commodities funds made significant progress in August. Of the top-25 non-leveraged, long only ETFs and ETNs last month, 20 were commodities-related. [Stocks ETFs Take Worst Monthly Loss in Over a Year]
Silver shined especially bright last month with SLV, the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) and the Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SIL) ranking among the top-five best ETFs in terms of August returns. Some metals traders interpret silver’s stout out-performance of gold as a bullish sign for precious metals in general. [Silver ETFs Top Gold Rivals in August]
While physical silver ETFs out-shined their gold-backed counterparts last month, gold miners impressed with the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) surging 21.3%. Smaller gold funds also got in on the act with the Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSEArca: GLDX) and the iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: RING) also ranking among August’s best ETFs. [Small But Mighty Gold Miners ETF Soars]
Among leveraged ETFs, the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: NUGT) jumped 13.5% last month, but the ProShares Ultra Silver (NYSEArca: AGQ) was nearly three times as impressive with a 40.5% August gain.
Overall for the month of August, 20 of the top-25 non-leveraged ETFs and ETNs were directly related to commodities. Brent oil, cocoa and grains plays were among the non-precious metals funds that delivered solid August returns.
In what was another glum month for most emerging markets funds, the iShares MSCI All Peru Capped ETF (NYSEArca: EPU) gained 5.2%. Peru’s status as the world’s largest silver producer and a major producer of gold and copper has plagued EPU this year, but the opposite was true last month.[Peru ETF Rebounds With Metals Miners]
iShares Silver Trust
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD and NUGT.
The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.