The Global X Uranium ETF (NYSEArca: URA), which tracks uranium miners, fell 8% last year, extending a multi-year run of negative finishes. That leaves uranium bulls, of which there are plenty, hoping for better things in 2017.
Uranium remains controversial even five years after the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan. In response to the fallout, anti-nuclear activists have aggressively petitioned courts to block restarting the plants. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also been a vocal nuclear power proponent, arguing that atomic power, which generated almost one-third of Japan’s electricity pre-Fukushima, helps diminish the country’s reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.
With nuclear energy industry looking brighter, uranium demand is expected to rise. According to the World Nuclear Association, the number of new nuclear plants due to go online this year and in the next three years is expected to total around 40, and more are planned in the years ahead, mostly in Asia, writes Lawrence Williams for Mineweb.
“Another commodity stock market sector which we are watching very closely: URANIUM MINERS. Investors should not anticipate a breakout until it is a fact. The uranium sector is very volatile, so it carries very high risk. The point is that almost all metals rallied significantly in 2016, but uranium did not. It spent the whole year forming a solid base,” according to ETF Daily News.
In the month since Election Day, plenty of sector and industry exchange traded funds have emerged as beneficiaries of Donald Trump’s stunning victory. One of the Trump trade ideas, and one accessible via ETFs, that is flying somewhat under the radar is nuclear energy.
Another ETF for accessing the nuclear trade is the VanEck Vectors Uranium+Nuclear Energy ETF (NYSEArca: NLR), which takes a broader approach, including exposure to large and more stable utilities.
Regarding URA’s technical outlook, “we are very excited to see a higher low in November, compared to the January/February lows. IF this market breaks out, uranium miners will go ballistic, so quickly entering but also exiting in time will be the key challenge,” reports ETF Daily News.