This week on ETF Sector Focus, we look at those funds that are being affected by the unrest in the Middle East and the flight to 'safe" investments, specifically, energy and precious metals ETFs.
According to the fund-research group EPFR Global, investors poured some $1 billion into energy-sector funds during the third week of February. In the five-day period ending Feb. 25, oil-themed ETFs have risen about 8%, while gold ETFs improved roughly 2%.
As of early Friday, the major U.S. stock markets were trading slightly higher as oil prices stabilized. The major markets were down about 2% for the week as of mid-day trading.
On Friday, WTI crude was down slightly at $96.75 a barrel, while Brent crude moved up a tad to $111.35 a barrel.
The iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (OIL) rose 12% through Thursday to trade near $26.70. At noon on Friday, it was up 0.6% to $25.85.
The United States Oil Fund (USO) moved up similarly during the week and traded at $39.25 on Feb. 25.
The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Energy ETF (IYE) ticked up nearly 1% higher on Friday at $44.50. It’s up about 1% for the week as well.
Metals in Motion