Best/Worst Weekly ETF Returns: Commods On Fire

July 20, 2012

Sizzling temperatures across the U.S. lit a fire under commodities prices in the week ended Thursday, July 19, as the looming gap between supply and demand comes into focus.

Commodities ETPs were the best performing funds in the past week, with strategies tapping into everything from agricultural product such as corn and soybeans to energy all over IndexUniverse's top performers list for the week. Drought-like weather drove the rally.

Relentless excessive heat and dryness across much of the U.S. grain belt propelled corn and soybean futures prices to near-record or outright record highs in the week ended Thursday, July 19. Exchange-traded products linked to those futures went along for the ride too.

ETNs from iPath and Elements were particularly prominent this week, as eight out of the top 10 funds in this week's tally of performance were offerings from one company or the other.

The iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJG) was one of three iPath agriculture-focused ETNs to make into the best performers list, and it was the single best performing strategy in the past five days.

The fund saw gains of 10 percent in the past Thursday-to-Thursday period. It now has assets of $195.25 million.

The heat was also a supportive factor for energy-focused strategies because demand for natural gas increases when people are looking to cool down their homes with electricity-intensive air conditioners. As natural gas futures prices rallied, two iPath energy-linked ETNs such as the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Energy Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: JJE) rallied too. JJE rose 8.33 percent.

Two United States Commodity Funds' oil ETFs were the only exchange-traded funds to make this week's list, again supported by rising energy values. The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO) gained 7.58 percent with more than 39.8 million shares trading hands--that's an average daily trading volume of nearly 8 million shares.

The price gains in commodities funds came in tandem with a recovery in the broad stock market. The Dow Jones industrial average tagged on more than 370 points in the five-day period, ending Thursday 2.9 percent higher than a week earlier.

Biggest Losers

On the flip side, the ETRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return ETN (NYSEArca: UBC) was one of the week's worst performers, shedding 4.22 percent in value as the market priced in expectations that livestock producers will face higher corn feed prices.

The United States Metals Index Fund (NYSEArca: USMI) was also among the week's bottom performers, giving up 10.83 percent in value. The fund has only $3.69 million in total assets.


Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
JJG iPath Dow Jones UBS Grains Total Return ETN 10.05% 795,064 195.25
JJE iPath Dow Jones-UBS Energy Total Return ETN 8.33% 78,362 12.12
WEET iPath Pure Beta Grains ETN 8.21% 3,233 2.80
OIL iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return ETN 8.10% 3,081,441 459.80
GRU ELEMENTS MLCX Grains - Total Return ETN 7.77% 674,025 17.51
BNO United States Brent Oil 7.66% 273,980 49.82
JJA iPath Dow Jones UBS Agriculture Total Return ETN 7.66% 127,115 128.95
USO United States Oil 7.58% 39,835,569 1,347.52
FUE ELEMENTS MLCX Biofuels Total Return ETN 7.52% 7,841 2.66
RJN ELEMENTS Rogers International Commodity - Energy Total Return ETN 7.33% 503,686 71.48

Bottom 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and <1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
CVOL C-Tracks Exchange-Traded Notes on the Citi Volatility -15.89% 93,063 5.56
VIXY ProShares VIX Short-Term -11.55% 2,538,963 133.60
VIIX VelocityShares VIX Short Term ETN -11.49% 1,449,919 31.06
VXX iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN -11.26% 189,036,414 1,523.90
USMI United States Metals Index Fund -10.83% 8,994 3.69
GRN iPath Global Carbon ETN -5.23% 3,526 1.17
VXZ iPath S&P 500 VIX Mid-Term Futures ETN -5.08% 1,615,576 242.58
PXN PowerShares Lux Nanotech Portfolio -4.60% 105,491 21.70
VIXM ProShares VIX Mid-term -4.26% 39,463 77.55
UBC ETRACS CMCI Livestock Total Return ETN -4.22% 3,055 4.39

Disclaimer: All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

Find your next ETF

Reset All