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The top ETFs of April are riding on March's record-breaking highs.
That month, assets of ETFs (exchange-traded funds) and ETPs (exchange-traded products) in the United States reached a new record high of $1.73 trillion. In the first quarter of 2014 alone, ETFs/ETPs in the U.S. gathered net inflows of $15 billion, with 1,568 ETFs/ETPs listed from 57 providers on three exchanges.
The energy sector – and energy ETFs – fared particularly well in April. One reason: U.S. crude oil production is booming. It averaged around 3.22 million barrels at the end of 2013 and won't stop there, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The U.S. is currently accountable for 10% of the world's total oil production, and pushed the energy sector to be a top performer in April, according to sources such as Bloomberg, Forbes, and CNN Money.
Here's a close look at four of Aprils top ETFs from the energy sector…
Top ETFs: Four of April's Best Performers in the Energy Sector
Direxion Daily Natural Gas Related Bull 3X Shares (GASL)
This ETF was launched in July of 2010 with the objective of daily investment results that are at least 300% of the ISE Revere Natural Gas Index.
GASL's performance in April makes it one of the top ETFs of the month. It started the month trading at $39.13 per share and closed at $50.70 for a 29.54% gain. This fund's performance has tracked upwards 49.23% for the year-to-date, and over the last 12 months GASL has gained a whopping 140.42%.
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Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X Shares (ERX)
This fund was launched in November of 2008 with an objective of daily investment activity that reflects at least 300% of the Energy Select Sector Index performance.
ERX surged starting around mid-April. It began the month at $91.43 per share, and finished at $106.27 for a 16.23% gain. Year-to-date, ERX is up 23.24%, and more than 69% in the last 12 months.
SPDR S&P International Energy Sector (IPW)
IPW was set up in 2008 to provide investment results that mirror the return performance of the S&P Developed Ex-U.S. BMI Energy Sector Index. It is comprised of approximately 132 securities, with 90% allocated to gas, oil, and consumable fuels.
The fund has shown steady growth in 2014, up 10.66%. Much of that came in April, when IPW gained 7.99%, making it a top ETF that month.
iShares MSCI Global Energy Producers ETF (FILL)
This fund is relatively new, launched in February 2012. It was organized to track the MSCI ACWI Select Energy Producers Investable Market Index. Among the stocks in FILL are oil giants Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM), Chevron (NYSE: CVX), and BP (NYSE: BP). The highest concentration of the fund focuses on oil and gas, with a smaller percentage dedicated to exploration and production.
With an asset base of slightly more than $5 million as of the end of April, FILL saw growth of 7.34% for the month of April, making it one of the top ETFs in the energy sector for the month.
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