Commodity ETFs End Strong Quarter On High Note | ETF Trends

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) that target energy stocks and commodities topped the performance charts in the first quarter as escalating tensions in the Middle East pushed oil prices higher.

Commodity ETFs added to their quarterly gains Thursday as corn and grains rallied in the agriculture sector. [Grain, Corn ETFs Pop After Planting Report.]

The $6.2 billion PowerShares DB Commodity Index Tracking Fund (NYSEArca: DBC) climbed nearly 2% in afternoon trading Thursday.

In the energy sector, PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio (NasdaqGM: PSCE) and SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) were both up more than 20% for the three months ended March 30. Thursday is the final trading session of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, oil and silver ETFs stood out in the commodities sector. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) is on track for a gain of over 20% for the quarter. [Silver ETFs Outshine Gold.]