Assets in U.S.-listed exchange traded funds (ETFs) and exchange traded notes (ETNs) showed an increase of about 57% in April from a year ago, proving that April showers can make ETFs flower.

At the end of April, assets in ETFs and ETNs shot to a new record of  $846.7 billion, an increase of approximately 57% over a year earlier. Assets totaled $540.2 billion, one year ago. [How ETFs Did in March.]

One of the most closely-watched stories is the race between two of the biggest emerging market ETFs: iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: EEM) and Vanguard Emerging Markets (NYSEArca: VWO). EEM remains the leader with $35.8 billion in assets, but VWO gained more ground, picking up $1.5 billion in April for a total of $24.4 billion in assets.

  • At the end of April 2010, the number of listed products totaled 998, compared to 844 listed products at the end of April 2009.
  • April 2010 net cash inflows from all ETFs/ETNs totaled approximately $12.8 billion. Total global/international equity and total U.S equity led all categories with net cash inflows of $5.6 billion and $2.96 billion respectively for April 2010.

Standout sectors in April were homebuilders, building and construction and gold miners, while the most weakness was seen in base metals and industrial metals.

For more stories about ETF performance, visit our ETF Performance Report category.

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.