The broad equities market and stock exchange traded funds hit record highs at the start of August. However, after a series of sell-offs, notably in the last week of the month due to the escalating Syria crisis, the markets extended the worst monthly drop since May 2012.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 4.0% over August. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite was 0.6% higher and the S&P 500 dipped 2.6%.
The top non-leveraged ETFs over August include PowerShares DB Silver Fund (NYSEArca: DBS) up 22.0%, E-Tracs UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver ETN (NYSEArca: USV) up 21.1% and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) up 20.9%. [Silver ETF’s 20% August Rally Beats Gold]
Bullish silver futures speculators helped boost previously downtrodden silver ETFs.
In the last week of the month, bellicose rhetoric in response to alleged chemical weapons deployment in Syria spurred safe-haven demand for silver. Moreover, precious metals futures rose on renewed fears that the U.S. would hit its debt ceiling sooner-than-expected.
Increased industrial demand could support silver. Jewelry and ETFs account for a substantial portion of global silver demand every year, but by some estimates, industrial use is 50% of annual silver demand.
The worst performing non-leveraged ETFs for the month include the Market Vectors Indonesia Small-Cap ETF (NYSEArca: IDXJ) down 23.1%, iShares MSCI Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: EIDO) down 22.4% and Market Vectors Indonesia ETF (NYSEArca: IDX) down 20.6%. [Indonesia ETFs Lead Global Sell-Off]
Emerging market stocks have been weakening in anticipation to an end to easy money.