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Natural Gas, Silver & 3 Other Wining ETF Areas of Last Week

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Wall Street performed decently last week with the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq Composite adding about 2.5%, 3.8% and 2.5%, respectively. This happened despite stimulus talks breaking down on Capitol Hill. Decent jobs and manufacturing data as well as vaccine hopes probably kept investors’ confidence alive.

However, on Aug 8, President Donald Trump sidestepped the nation's lawmakers,  imposing on the authority to defer payroll taxes and swap an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new virus bill failed.

Against this backdrop, below we highlight the winning ETF areas of last week.

Natural Gas

Natural gas prices surged last week on a hot weather forecast. Warmer-than-normal temperatures are expected in most of the Midwest and east coast in the near term, and this has propelled natural gas demand for air conditioning. Meanwhile, industrial energy demand is also showing signs of increasing as global economies are emerging from coronavirus-imposed lockdowns (read: Natural Gas ETFs Surge on Hot Weather Outlook).

Per an article published on oilprice.com, global consumption of natural gas is likely to fall 4% this year, but global demand will return to growth after the pandemic, thanks to low natural gas prices and stricter environmental policies.

iPath Series B Bloomberg Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN (GAZ - Free Report) (up24.9% last week) and United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) (up 24.9%) have been the key beneficiaries in this field.

Silver

Silver has been on a stellar ride with prices climbing to the highest level in nearly seven years. An increase in investment demand, pickup in industrial activity due to factory reopening after lockdowns and investors’ appetite for alternatives to the safe-haven asset gold (which is pretty pricey at the current level) led to the rally.

Unlike gold, silver has a considerable presence in the industrial sector. About 50% of the metal’s total demand comes from industrial applications. So, the reopening of global economies is helping silver more than the yellow metal (read: Silver ETFs or Gold: Which Metal to Shine More Ahead?).

ETRACS UBS Bloomberg CMCI Silver Total Return ETN (up 19.8% last week), iShares Silver Trust (SLV - Free Report) (up 15.6%) and Aberdeen Standard Physical Silver Shares ETF (SIVR) (up 15.5%) are the top products here.

Clean Energy

Growing consumer electric vehicle adoption as evident from the success of Tesla (TSLA), an increase in charging stations by U.S. states and increased solar-storage installations have acted as a tailwind for the U.S. clean energy sector for the past few quarters. The space is also set to benefit from the increasing deployment of clean energy in Europe and China.

Invesco Solar ETF (TAN - Free Report) (up 13.8%), Invesco WilderHill Clean Energy ETF (PBW - Free Report) (up 12.1%) and SPDR S&P Kensho Clean Power ETF (CNRG) (up 10.9%) were the winners last week.

Esports

The esports industry is on a tear as very few ways of entertainment are as popular as video games. The second wave of coronavirus infections is spreading rapidly all over the world. As a result, people are increasingly resorting to such a digital mode of entertainment.

“The video game industry is disrupting traditional media and entertainment,” according to VanEck. The world’s 2.7 billion gamers will shell out $159.3 billion on games in 2020, if we go by a forecast from market researcher Newzoo. This marks about 9% year-over-year growth. No wonder, The Sports Betting ETF (BETZ - Free Report) put up a great show last week and added 9.9% (read: Esports & Gaming Industry on a Tear: ETFs to Bet On).

Small-cap Value

U.S. small-cap stocks put up a decent show last week. Small-cap ETF IWM added 4.3% probably on undervaluation, some upbeat economic data points like jobs data, the likelihood of more government stimulus injection, low rates and vaccine hopes. Overall, Invesco S&P SmallCap 600 Pure Value ETF (RZV - Free Report) topped the space and gained 9.6% last week.

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