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Palladium, Silver ETFs Gain Investor Favor


Stoked by expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected, palladium and silver exchange traded funds are raking in new capital as investors bet higher rates are a sign of robust economic activity.

Although silver was one of the worst-performing commodities last week, due in part gold tumbling on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar, only oil exchange traded products attracted more inflows than silver products, according to ETF Securities.

The iShares Silver Trust (SL.V) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (SIVR) are each off more than 1% over the past five days.

“Last week the price of gold fell to its lowest level since the beginning of February as the US dollar strengthened following robust US data and follow-on buying following Yellen’s more hawkish than expected post-FOMC comments. Expectations of a rate hike earlier than originally foreseen also contributed to the negative momentum, prompting US$18mn of outflows from long gold ETPs. While gold and silver correlations remain historically high, silver could decouple if industrial demand rebounds strongly,” said Nicholas Brooks and Simona Gambarini of ETF Securities in a note out Monday.

The ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (PALL) is down by 1.5% over the past five days, but PALL is still higher by more than 6% this year thanks to Russia’s conflict with Ukraine and labor strife in South Africa. ETF Securities sees palladium benefiting from tight market conditions. [Global Tensions Lift Palladium ETFs]

“Both platinum and palladium have benefitted in 2014 from South African miner strikes and potential supply disruptions in Russia on the back of the Crimean crisis. With the strikes now entering their 10 th week and over 800,000 ounces(14% of global supply) of platinum production lost, platinum and palladium should be in a good position to benefit from an unexpectedly tight market,” according to the ETF Securities note.

Some of the air has come out of the long nickel trade as the iPath Dow Jones-UBS Nickel Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JJN) . Nickel futures have soared this year, sending JJN higher by 14.6%, due to the crisis in Ukraine and an export ban in Indonesia. However, investors pulled cash from nickel ETPs last week, according to ETF Securities. [Sanctions, Export Ban Lift Nickel ETN]

The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (JO) is poised to close the first quarter as one of the best non-leveraged ETPs, up 59% year-to-date, but coffee ETNs have seen nine straight weeks of outflows  on expectations of rainfall in Brazil, the world’s largest producer of Arabica beans, according to ETF Securities.

ETFS Physical Silver Shares

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of SLV.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.