Exchange traded funds indexed to copper and base metals fell with global equities Thursday on worries Europe’s debt crisis will freeze the economic recovery.

In precious metals, silver ETFs paced the declines. [Silver ETFs Fall]

Precious metals have enjoyed the spotlight as investors look to safe havens due to the sour news coming out of the Eurozone.

However, investors can also watch copper and base metal ETFs to get a sense of the market’s sentiment on the global economy.

“Prospective investors should note that base metals represent a relatively small fraction of the broad commodities universe and generally play supporting roles in major, broad commodity indexes,” says Morningstar analyst Abraham Ballin.

“Commodities have been shown to offer diversification benefits to a standard stock and bond portfolio, and investors will be enticed by the fact that despite low long term returns, commodities have historically provided an excellent hedge against inflation with nearly 0% correlation to equities,” Ballin wrote. [ETF Spotlight: Metals and Mining]

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