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Top Mining ETFs & Stocks of 2016:The Best from a Winner

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At the final leg of 2016, the year which spelt gloom for the broader market initially and cheers later, we can safely spot a few sectors that did surprisingly well. Among the surprising winners, the metal and mining sector has outperformed the market (read: 5 ETFs Up Over 100% This Year).

The mining sector has been under pressure over the past few years on commodity market rout and unfavorable demand-supply dynamics. In particular, a stronger greenback amid the gradual Fed policy tightening in recent times marred the lure for commodity investing.

Still, metal and mining ETF investors enjoyed stellar gains in the initial phase of this year thanks to global growth worries and the resultant spike in volatility. Two precious metals – gold and silver – led the rally as these are known as safe haven assets.

If this was the story of the first half, the second-half rally was supported by Trump and China. U.S. president-elect Trump’s pledges to invest in infrastructure activities went in favor of some industrial metals, which are used as raw materials of infrastructural activities.

Plus, China's factory activity grew at its fastest clip in over two years in November. Since the Chinese economy accounts for about half of the global consumption of the industrial commodities, the surge in metal and mining stocks are self-explanatory. Investors should note that manufacturing activities are on an uptrend in various corners of the globe lately (read: Global Manufacturing in Growth Zone: ETFs to Watch).

Below, we thus highlight three ETFs and stocks from the metal and mining space that emerged as winners. These products are worth keeping an eye on to see if they can remain top performers going into 2017 (read: 6 Best Performing Leveraged ETFs of 2016).

ETF Outperformers

PureFunds ISE Junior Silver ETF (SILJ - Free Report) – Up 133.1%

The 24-stock fund gives exposure to small-cap companies engaged in the silver industry. The fund charges 69 bps in fees. Coeur Mining, Pan American Silver and First Majestic Silver are the top three holdings of the fund (read: Will Silver ETFs Outshine Gold in 2017?).

SPDR S&P Metals and Mining ETF (XME - Free Report) – Up 108.5%

This metal and mining fund has a tilt toward smaller-cap stocks. Steel companies occupy major share of the fund. The product charges 35 bps in fees.

VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (SLX - Free Report) – Up 98.4%

The fund looks to track the NYSE Arca Steel Index which focuses on the performance of companies in the steel sector. The fund charges 55 bps in fees. Vale (12.96%), Rio Tinto (12.18%) and Arcelormittal (6.76%) are the top three stocks of the fund. Geographically, the U.S. takes the top spot with about 38.8% weight while Brazil (22.6%) and U.K. (12.2%) also get a double-digit allocation.


Stock Outperformers

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (CLF - Free Report) Up 467.7%

The Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) is an international mining company – producing iron ore pellets in North America and supplying metallurgical coal to the global steelmaking industry. The Zacks Industry Rank is in top 1%. The VGM score of the stock is ‘A.’

Teck Resources Limited (TECK - Free Report) – Up 440.4%

The Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) company is into the mining and mineral development with major business units focused on copper, metallurgical coal, zinc, gold and energy. The Zacks Industry Rank is in top 14%, at the time of writing while the VGM score of the stock is ‘B.’

AK Steel Holding Corporation – Up 370.5%

This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company produces flat-rolled carbon, stainless and electrical steel products. The Zacks Industry Rank is in top 26%. The VGM score of the stock is ‘A.’

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