The commodities boom may not be all the way back, but exchange-traded products offering exposure to gold, silver and other precious metals have enjoyed impressive performances over the past month. Buoyant U.S. economic data has helped lift the U.S. Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) 11.2%. Equity-based energy and mining ETFs have gotten in on the act as well with some mining funds ranking among July’s top performers.
Select global ETFs are benefiting from improved price action in commodities, too. Many investors may already be aware of the utility of some ETFs that track Australia, Canada and South Africa as precious metals plays, but the WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity Fund (NYSEArca: CCXE) offers an avenue for investors to get commodities exposure without directly committing to just oil or precious metals. [Miners Rally Boosting Overlooked Country ETF]
CCXE’s name obviously implies some level of commodities exposure, but it is how the fund delivers on that promise that makes this an interesting option. The ETF tracks the WisdomTree Commodity Country Equity Index, which “is a fundamentally weighted index that measures the performance of dividend-paying companies from ‘commodity countries’ selected,” according to WisdomTree.
Translation: CCXE offers investors exposure to eight countries that are known as commodities plays, but the fund actually looks like a regular, diversified ETF. Energy and materials names combine for 34.7% of the ETF’s weight, but financial services and telecom combine for another 41%, proving CCXE is not all about commodities.
Investors should also not infer that simply because CCXE is framed as a commodities fund that it is excessively weighted to emerging markets. The fund’s eight constituent countries are split evenly between four developing and four developed markets. When the weights are added up it works out to be about 50% going to developed markets and 50% to emerging economies. [Platinum ETF Shines While Gold Struggles]
Conservative investors can find some comfort in knowing that three countries with AAA credit ratings – Australia, Canada and Norway – combine for over 36% of the ETF’s weight. Then there is the dividend kicker.