An exchange traded fund indexed to companies focused on the exploration and production of oil and natural gas has led the bounce in equities over the past month, gaining 50% from its October low.

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEArca: XOP) was down fractionally Monday but leads nonleveraged ETFs over the trailing month, climbing about 28%.

The fund was trading hands at $56.36 a share in midday trading Monday, a rise of 50% from its 52-week intraday low of $37.67, which was hit in early October.

The iShares Dow Jones US Oil & Gas Exploration (NYSEArca: IEO) is a similar ETF.

Crude futures on Monday rose to their highest level in over three months, MarketWatch reported Monday.

“Crude oil is choppy … Rumors continue to fly in Europe, as a lack of faith in Italian debt is pushing it to new record high yields,” said Matt Smith, an analyst with Summit Energy, in the report. [ETFs Rattled by Berlusconi Talk]

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