A Nickel for Your Thoughts: Ukraine Conflict Boosts Nickel ETNs

March 11th at 9:30am by Tom Lydon

The crisis in Ukraine has predictably been a drag on Russia exchange traded funds, but the opposite is true for some commodities exchange traded products.

For example, palladium has gotten a lift from tensions in Ukraine. Russia is the world’s largest palladium producer, but the country does not release stockpiles data, prompting some market observers to speculate that the country’s inventories are all but gone. [Palladium ETF Finds Firm Footing]

Add nickel to the list of commodities beneficiaries of Russia’s invasion. Nickel’s upside can be played with a pair of oft-overlooked exchange traded notes (ETNs): The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JJN) and the iPath Pure Beta Nickel ETN (NYSEArca: NINI).

ETF Securities noted that its London-listed nickel ETP saw $8.1 million in inflows last week as prices jumped to nine-month highs.

“Indonesia’s export ban is starting to produce an impact on nickel market, with Chinese stockpiles rumoured to be decreasing quickly. Worries over potential trade sanctions to be imposed on Russia also contributed to buoy prices last week as Russia is the 3rd-biggest  mine producer of the metal (as of 2012 data),” said ETF Securities in a research note.

NINI tracks the the Barclays Capital Nickel Pure Beta TR Index, which is “comprised of a single exchange traded futures contract, except during the roll period when the Index may be comprised of two futures contracts,” according to iPath.

NINI is up 8.2% in the past month. JJN’s underlying index “reflects the returns that are potentially available through an unleveraged investment in the futures contracts on nickel. The Index currently consists of one futures contract on the commodity of nickel (currently the Primary Nickel futures contract traded on the London Metal Exchange) which is included in the Dow Jones-UBS Commodity Index Total Return,” according to iPath.

JJN, the larger of the two U.S.-listed nickel ETNs, is up almost 5.5% in just the past week.

iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post.

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.

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