Mining stocks have battled back recently, with GDX (Market Vectors Gold Miners, Expense Ratio 0.52%) for example recovering more than 25% from its late June intraday lows and pulling in more than $100 million in net asset flows via creations.
It is also no secret that Gold and precious metals spot prices have stabilized in the past month as well which has no doubt taken off some of the pressure on the Miners. [Technical Outlook Improving for Gold Miners ETF]
GDX despite its dismal performance over the trailing five year period, remains a $5.2 billion ETF in terms of assets under management, and trades a massive 26 million shares on an average daily basis. The fund is also the largest offering in the greater “Commodity Producers Equities” category in the broader Commodity ETP space.
Interest in the space has grown quickly in the marketplace, as the 2009 launched GDXJ (Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners, Expense Ratio 0.54%) has grown to $1.3 billion in AUM despite performance challenges of its own. [Juniors Joining Big Boys in Gold Miners’ Surge]
Another notable fund in the space is XME (SPDR S&P Metals & Mining, Expense Ratio 0.35%) which attracted upside call activity on Friday on the sector’s rally. XME is a bit different from GDX and GDXJ in that it ventures outside of Gold and Precious Metals miners in terms of portfolio composition and also invests in integrated metals manufacturers and those related to the steel industry (such as CMC, RS, STLD, X, NUE, AA).
“Gold Bugs”, those whom historically have been very bullish in terms of their buying of gold have helped popularize many of these Metals and Mining related ETFs, and with good reason since the recent near historic volatility in the sector has created the ultimate “stock-picker’s market” in the Miners. ETF product sponsors have noticed the investor appeal here, as many of the following funds are relatively new launches to the marketplace.