Commodity ETF Flows: Investors Continue to Flock to GLD, Dump XLE

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 |  Includes: AGOL, AMJ, AXEN, BAL, DBB, GLD, GRN, GSC, GWO, IAU, JJN, JJU, KOL, KWT, MLPN, MOO, NIB, OIH, TAN, UCO, USO, XLE, XOP, ZSL
by: Hard Assets Investor

Contrasting performance of precious metals, energy ETPs continued last week.

A week of uncertainty and gloom in financial markets didn’t stop investors from adding to their commodity-related, exchange-traded product holdings over the past several days.

Indeed, those persistent worries related to the U.S. debt ceiling were the catalyst for another week of big inflows into precious metals ETPs. The sector received $1.4 billion in fresh investor capital.

But total commodity-related ETPs only saw a net inflow of $509 million.

That’s because energy was a big drag. Investors took $940 million of their capital out of that sector. Industrial metals were another loser, with outflows of $26 million. The agriculture and broad market (multicommodity) sectors saw inflows of $68 million and $58 million, respectively.

For a third straight week, precious metals juggernaut — the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) — took the top spot on the inflows list after attracting a solid $1.1 billion last week. That brings its three-week total to almost $2.5 billion.

Meanwhile, a familiar name reappeared on the inflows list at the No. 2 spot. The Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (NYSEARCA:MOO) garnered $80 million in inflows. MOO has attracted over $1.5 billion over the past three months.

GLD’s rival, the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:IAU), found itself at No. 3 last week, with $69 million in inflows. ProShares UltraShort Silver ETF (NYSEARCA:ZSL) and SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEARCA:XOP) rounded out the list, with inflows of $47 million and $46 million, respectively.

But while investors were adding capital to XOP last week, they were furiously exiting several other energy ETPs. Indeed, each of the five products on the outflows list was energy-related.

The sector behemoth, the Energy Select SPDR Fund (NYSEARCA:XLE), led with $537 million in outflows. JPMorgan Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSEARCA:AMJ), Oil Services HOLDRS Trust (NYSEARCA:OIH), United States Oil Fund (NYSEARCA:USO) and ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil (NYSEARCA:UCO) followed with $271 million, $81 million, $69 million and $22 million in outflows, respectively.

It’s important to note that energy’s underperformance wasn’t due to plunging commodity prices. Both crude oil and natural gas were largely steady over the week. Rather, investors were likely selling amid continued jitters related to the macro economy and the broader stock market.

Turning to price performance, base metals funds did well last week. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Aluminum Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:JJU), iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:JJN) and PowerShares DB Base Metals Fund (NYSEARCA:DBB) were the first, fourth and fifth best performers, respectively, with gains of 4.69 percent, 3.42 percent and 3.11 percent.

Making up the rest of the list were the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cotton Subindex (NYSEARCA:BAL) and the iShares MSCI ACWI ex-U.S. Energy Sector Index Fund (NYSEARCA:AXEN), which rose by 4.18 percent and 3.75 percent, respectively.

On the other end of the spectrum, solar ETPs dominated the bottom performers list.

The iPath Global Carbon ETN (NYSEARCA:GRN), Elements Credit Suisse Global Warming ETN (NYSEARCA:GWO), Market Vectors Solar Energy ETF (NYSEARCA:KWT), iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cocoa Subindex Total Return ETN (NYSEARCA:NIB) and Guggenheim Solar (NYSEARCA:TAN) fell by 10.19 percent, 7.1 percent, 6.3 percent, 6.07 percent and 6.05 percent, respectively.

Fund Flows Data: July 22 - July 28

Commodity ETF Weekly Flows By Asset Class

Net Flows

($,mm)

AUM

($, mm)

% of AUM
Agriculture 67.95 13,332.70 0.51%
Broad Market 58.10 16,334.83 0.36%
Energy -940.10 34,792.46 -2.70%
Industrial Metals -26.47 3,166.14 -0.84%
Precious Metals 1,349.33 105,458.99 1.28%
Total: 508.81 173,085.13 0.29%
Click to enlarge

Top 5 Commodity ETF Creations

Ticker Name Net Flows

($,mm)

AUM

($, mm)

AUM % Change
GLD SPDR Gold 1,101.10 65,495.99 1.71%
MOO Market Vectors Agribusiness 79.93 6,051.70 1.34%
IAU iShares Gold Trust 69.42 8,100.22 0.86%
ZSL ProShares UltraShort Silver 46.68 564.85 9.01%
XOP SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production 45.96 1,099.58 4.36%
Click to enlarge

Top 5 Commodity ETF Redemptions

Ticker Name Net Flows

($,mm)

AUM

($, mm)

AUM % Change
XLE Energy Select SPDR -536.88 8,703.28 -5.81%
AMJ JPMorgan Alerian MLP ETN -271.43 2,623.78 -9.38%
OIH Oil Services HOLDRS -80.81 2,800.40 -2.80%
USO United States Oil -69.09 1,243.19 -5.26%
UCO ProShares Ultra DJ-UBS Crude Oil -21.87 317.11 -6.45%
Click to enlarge

Top 5 Weekly Performers, Excluding <1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly

Performance

Weekly Volume AUM

($, mm)

JJU iPath Dow Jones-UBS Aluminum Total Return ETN 4.68% 12,498 7.94
BAL iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cotton Total Return ETN 4.18% 599,835 61.28
AXEN iShares MSCI ACWI ex-US Energy 3.75% 3,072 6.37
JJN iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Total Return ETN 3.42% 19,300 12.55
DBB PowerShares DB Base Metals 3.11% 976,468 642.39
Click to enlarge

Bottom 5 Weekly Performers, Excluding <1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly

Performance

Weekly Volume AUM

($, mm)

GRN iPath Global Carbon ETN -10.19% 3,648 2.33
GWO ELEMENTS Credit Suisse Global Warming ETN -7.10% 4,035 0.00
KWT Market Vectors Solar Energy -6.30% 95,739 23.17
NIB iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cocoa Total Return ETN -6.07% 139,448 21.26
TAN Guggenheim Solar -6.05% 1,284,084 140.95
Click to enlarge

Top 5 Volume Surprises, Funds >$50 mm AUM

Ticker Name Average Volume

(30 Day)

Weekly Volume % of Average
AGOL ETFS Physical Asian Gold 1,810 33,065 365.37%
GSC GS Connect S&P GSCI Enhanced Commodity Total Return Strategy ETN 9,625 155,376 322.87%
MLPN Credit Suisse Cushing 30 MLP 123,507 1,409,131 228.19%
AMJ JPMorgan Alerian MLP ETN 1,046,377 11,648,750 222.65%
KOL Market Vectors Coal 295,964 2,528,721 170.88%
Click to enlarge

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