The US Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) lost 26.1% year-to-date through Dec. 24. The end of 2012 will bring the fifth consecutive year of losses for the fund, which got its start in April 2007. Nevertheless, 2013 can be the start of a good year for UNG as increased use of natural gas has resumed. Overall, warmer weather kept natural gas prices depressed most of the year. [Natural Gas ETFs Cooling Off on Inventories, Weather]
Van Eck Market Vectors Coal ETF (NYSEArca: KOL) lost about 23.7% this year, as growing excitement about the prospects of our domestic natural gas industry have scared off many investors from this corner of the energy market. The environmental impact of coal is one of the biggest reasons this energy source is skipped, and the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year set a fearful example. In 2011, the ETF lost 30.7%, so the downtrend has been persistent for this ETF.
The good news is that the new year is around the corner, so prospects can turn around for these downtrodden funds. However, the best-performers are also at risk for a turn, too.
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