Demand Soars for Energy ETFs

Buttressed by the sector’s status as the second-best performer in the S&P 500 this year and geopolitical factors, energy exchange traded funds have been in big demand in 2014.

As of June 26, ETFs “devoted to energy stocks have attracted $6.68 billion in fresh money this year, the most among 12 categories in the $289 billion market for sector ETFs,” reports Jim Polson for Bloomberg.

One of the leaders has been the Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE). The largest equity-based energy ETF by assets, XLE has attracted nearly $3.2 billion in new assets this year, more than any other sector ETF. In just the second quarter, XLE has pulled in almost $2.3 billion in new assets. [Energy ETFs Dominate Sector Flows]

Said another way, the second-quarter inflows for the Utilities Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLU) and the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLI) would need to be combined to reach a number greater than the new capital allocated to XLE.

Energy ETFs have rewarded investors for their devotion to the sector. Of the top-25 non-leveraged ETFs over the past three months, 13 are either equity-based energy funds or ETFs focusing on master limited partnerships. That group of 13 does not include several Russia ETFs, which have recently been boosted by higher oil prices. [Caution Needed on Russia ETFs]

Investors’ affinity of energy ETFs has not been limited to cap-weighted funds such as XLE that focus primarily on the largest integrated oil companies like Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and Chevron (NYSE: CVX).