The iShares MSCI Peru Index (NYSEArca: EPU) has given back to investors in 2012, outperforming gold and copper exchange traded funds. Rising metals prices have been the support for this fund.

“There are a number of positive investment themes for Latin America’s largest markets. Brazil, Chile, and Peru are all blessed with abundant natural resources, and should benefit from continued demand growth for commodities from emerging markets and recovering demand from developed markets. …Chile and Peru have copper and other base metals,” Patricia Oey for Morningstar wrote in a Morningstar fund analysis. [Peru ETF: Rising Economy and Gold Prices]

Peru is one of the globe’s major copper, gold and silver producers. So far in 2012, the ETF tracking Peru has benefited from the rise in metals prices. Material stocks dominate EPU’s holdings, at around 56%.

To gain exposure to Peru’s stock market and mitigate the volatility that a single economy could experience, the Global X FTSE Andean 40 ETF (NYSEArca: AND) includes South American countries along with Mexico. So far, AND is up 14% this year, and has been able to outperform EPU. [ETF Spotlight: Peru]

According to a recent study from State Street, institutional assets in Latin America’s big five markets that includes Peru, will grow rapidly this year. Capital inflows and a hot commodity market are contributing to this interest in this region, reports Chris Flood for Financial Times. [Gold Prices Impacting Single-Country ETFs]