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Best/Worst Weekly ETF Returns: GREK, EWP Rise

Cinthia Murphy

The Global X FTSE Greece 20 ETF (GREK) was the single-best-performing ETF in the past week ended Thursday, Oct. 18, racing more than 12 percent higher as the market awaited a European Union summit expected to address financial aid for some of Europe's troubled regions.

Helping fuel GREK's momentum was a sharp decline in Greece's 10-year bond yields, which dropped below 17 percent to their lowest levels yet this year, and are now nearly half what they were just weeks ago. The gains came as the Dow Jones industrial average rallied 1.66 percent.

Another Europe-focused ETF to post gains this week was the iShares MSCI Spain Index Fund (EWP), which rose 6.7 percent. The ETF saw nearly 3 million shares change hands in the five-day period. Spain has yet to make an official request for a bailout, but many see that as all but a certainty.

On the U.S. equities front, homebuilder ETFs were again major gainers in the past week, extending their run as some of the strongest performers in the ETF market year-to-date. The latest shot in the arm came courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, which reported that home construction in the U.S. is the strongest it's been in four years.

The latest data helped fuel what many see as the makings of a turnaround in the U.S. housing market just a few short months after home price indexes forged new cycle lows since peaking in 2006. Indeed, home values across the country remain roughly a third off their highs set just six years ago, but many are suggesting that it seems as though the price trajectory might indeed be upward from here.

Housing remains a key variable in the U.S. economic recovery story, having been at the epicenter of the 2008 credit crisis. The iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction Index Fund (ITB) rose nearly 7.5 percent in the last week amid an average daily trading volume of 2.6 million shares. ITB is now up more than 76 percent year-to-date, a performance that has earned it the top spot in the ranking of best-performing ETFs of 2012.

Meanwhile, the SPDR S'P Homebuilders ETF (XHB) gained 5.8 percent in the period in a rally that came as more than 5 million shares, on average, traded hands on a daily basis. XHB ranks now as the third best-performing ETF year-to-date with gains of nearly 55 percent.

On the flip side, aside from a roster of volatility-focused strategies, a few metals ETNs were some of the worst performers in the week ended Thursday, including the Etracs CMCI Long Platinum Total Return ETN (PTM), which slipped 5.4 percent.

The United States Gasoline Fund (UGA) was the single-worst-performing fund of the week, tallying losses of 6.7 percent.

Top 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and '1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
GREK Global X FTSE Greece 20 12.14% 628,948 28.59
BAL iPath Dow Jones-UBS Cotton Total Return ETN 9.33% 85,997 34.89
CHII Global X China Industrials 8.76% 10,561 4.54
PSTL PowerShares Global Steel 7.68% 1,269 2.06
CHXX EGShares China Infrastructure 7.48% 18,281 11.51
ITB iShares Dow Jones U.S. Home Construction 7.46% 13,288,086 1,485.94
EWP iShares MSCI Spain 6.67% 2,933,060 213.77
FCA First Trust China AlphaDex 6.16% 1,428 2.18
AXHE iShares MSCI ACWI ex-US Health Care 6.09% 2,808 9.88
XHB SPDR S'P Homebuilders 5.78% 27,059,956 1,978.45

Bottom 10 Weekly Performers, Excluding Leverage/Inverse Funds and '1,000 Shares Traded

Ticker Name Weekly Performance Weekly Volume AUM ($, mm)
UGA United States Gasoline -6.71% 245,957 62.76
CVOL C-Tracks Exchange-Traded Notes on the Citi Volatility -6.64% 109,329 5.43
VIIX VelocityShares VIX Short Term ETN -6.23% 3,085,384 8.98
VIXY ProShares VIX Short-Term -6.20% 4,742,617 168.44
VXX iPath S'P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN -6.10% 113,317,525 1,626.29
PTM ETRACS CMCI Long Platinum Total Return ETN -5.41% 358,697 38.84
EIPO ETRACS Next Generation Internet ETN -4.81% 7,400 5.47
UBM ETRACS CMCI Industrial Metals Total Return ETN -4.67% 3,580 5.29
ZROZ PIMCO 25+ Year Zero Coupon U.S. Treasury -4.44% 33,361 80.09
VIXM ProShares VIX Mid-term -4.32% 157,392 98.46

Disclaimer:All data as of 6 a.m. Eastern time the date the article is published. Data is believed to be accurate; however, transient market data is often subject to subsequent revision and correction by the exchanges.

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