Commodity and Currency ETFs: Cause of Rare Premiums Differ | ETF Trends

As exchange traded funds (ETFs) become increasingly sophisticated and target new and interesting markets with unique strategies, it’s growing more and more important to understand the differences between them.

A case in point: while both WisdomTree Dreyfus Chinese Yuan Fund (NYSEArca: CYB) and United States Natural Gas (NYSEArca: UNG) use forward contracts, they differ in how they work.

Don Dion of the has an excellent piece that explains the differences between the two ETFs and how they handle futures contracts. He states that a premium found in CYB is caused by factors that differ from those that led to a premium in UNG.

This summer, UNG paid a premium between the contracts it was selling and those that it was buying. Each time UNG sold a contract, it sent the price of that contract lower and raised the price of the contract it was buying.