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Copper Call: Another Miners ETF Soars


In the world of rallying miners exchange traded funds, gold miners funds get most of the attention with some leftovers going to their counterparts.

If silver miners ETFs dine on leftovers, then copper funds are left with table scraps, but the recent showing by the Global X Copper Miners ETF (COPX) highlights an ETF befitting of better treatment.

Copper, the industrial metal that many market observers believe has a PhD in global economic assessment, has been on fire in recent weeks. The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Copper Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJC) is up more than 8% since June 11, including a modest gain Thursday, a day in which U.S. stocks are being taken to the woodshed. [Copper ETFs Rebound]

COPX is trading slightly lower Thursday, but the once downtrodden ETF is up about 11% since June. After trading mostly flat over the first quarter, COPX is higher by nearly 17% since the start of the second quarter.

Regarding COPX, “it looks like a triple bottom has formed with a bullish breakout of its recent side ways range, as well as a breakout of a well-defined downtrend line. Great relative action vs. the S&P 500 too,” according to Captain John Charts.

For many investors, their first thought when it comes to copper miners is Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX). Shares of the largest U.S.-based copper miner are up nearly 18% over the past 90 days, but even though Freeport is a $40.6 billion company, it is not a dominant part of COPX. No stock accounts for more than 5.6% of the ETF’s weight and Freeport places eighth at a weight of 4.8%, according to Global X data.

That says COPX is getting help from plenty of sources beyond Freeport and that the copper miners rally is indeed broad-based. COPX tracks the Solactive Global Copper Miners Index, which gives the ETF substantial global exposure. Over 56% of the ETF’s combined weight is allocated to Canadian and Australian companies.

Although emerging markets are some of the world’s largest copper producers, COPX’s exposure to developing economies is scant. For example, Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, is nowhere to be found in the ETF. Overall, five emerging markets combine for under 20% of COPX’s weight.

Speaking of Chile, investors thinking about the iShares MSCI Chile Capped ETF (ECH) as a way of participating in the copper rally may want to think twice. Over the past 90 days, ECH has traded slightly lower while COPX is up more than 16%.

COPX Relative Strength vs. S&P 500


Chart Courtesy: Captain John Charts