Top And Flop ETFs Of August: Metals Gain, Crops Crash

The broader market was cast down by a host of geopolitical and political concerns in August. Though the month ended with the release of upbeat Q2 GDP growth data, the awful Hurricane Harvey, tensions with North Korea, Trump’s warnings of a Government shutdown, overvaluation concerns and some downbeat economic releases snapped the solid momentum of the broader market.

Against this backdrop, let’s discuss the ETF areas that still emerged winners in August and those that were hit hard. The following returns are of one month (as of Aug 31, 2017).

Winners

iPath Bloomberg Nickel Subindex Total Return ETN (JJN - Free Report) — Up 17.3%

Nickel prices have rallied last month. The recent resurgence in prices was due to bargain hunting as the metal touched an 11-month low in May. Also, production in Philippines — one of the top nickel producers — dropped 15% in the first five months of this year. However, the outlook for nickel investing is still murky with possibilities of higher production in Indonesia and Philippines (read: Philippines GDP Up In Q2: ETFs in Focus).

Global X China Materials ETF CHIM — Up 13.3%

China ETFs have been steady in the month. The Chinese economy grew 6.9% year over year in Q2 of 2017, marking the same pace as in the previous period but higher than market expectations of 6.8% growth. China’s manufacturing activity has been in a decent shape helped by improving exports.

BioShares Biotechnology Clinical Trials Fund (BBC - Free Report) — Up 12.4%

Biotech ETFs especially those with a focus on cancer therapy staged a great show in August especially on Gilead’s GILD buyout announcement of the clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company Kite pharma KITE. Most biotech funds were on a tear in the month (read: Biotech ETFs Soar on Gilead-Kite Deal).

Global X Brazil Consumer ETF (BRAQ - Free Report) — Up 12.1%

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