Most Searched ETFs: All That Glitters

In a week marked by renewed concerns about the fragility of the banking systems in some peripheral European nations and the first signs that the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing regime could end as soon as the fourth quarter, gold exchange traded funds were solid performers.

The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the largest ETF backed by physical holdings of gold, gained 1.7% on the week to close at its highest levels since March. That earned GLD another turn as the most searched commodity ETF on ETF Trends, but in a sign of just how in vogue gold is these days, GLD was far from the most searched gold fund.

The battle for top honors not only among this week’s most searched commodities ETF, but the top spot overall, came down to gold miners. As of Friday evening, the race between the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest miners ETF, and the Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSEArca: GLDX) is too close to call.

GLDX is not yet known to many investors, but know this: With a year-to-date of over 46%, GLDX is this year’s top-performing non-leveraged ETF. [The Best Miners ETF You’ve Never Heard Of]

Looking at other commodities-related sector ETFs, energy funds remain a popular destination for assets and searches. The Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE) makes another appearance on this week’s most searched list, but there is a new addition among heavily trafficked energy ETFs as well.

The Global X MLP & Energy Infrastructure ETF (NYSEArca: MLPX) makes its first appearance on our most searched list and with good reason. Not only is MLPX one of this year’s top-performing energy ETFs with a gain of 21.5%, but the fund has been a prodigious gather of assets as well. It has been just a month since Global X MLPX had over $100 million in assets under management. The ETF entered Friday $153.3 million in AUM. [This MLP ETF is Soaring]