FTSE equities and precious metals ‘most traded’ ETFs

May 29th, 2013 | By | Category: Commodities

Clients of Barclays Stockbrokers, a leading UK-based execution broker, are increasingly using exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and exchange-traded commodities (ETCs) to capitalise on movements in key UK FTSE equity indices and precious metals markets, according to new analysis.

FTSE equities and precious metals most traded ETFs, reveals Barclays Stockbrokers

The most traded ETF among Barclays Stockrokers clients was the London-listed iShares FTSE 100 ETF (ISF).

Data for April 2013 revealed that FTSE-related ETFs accounted for four of the top ten most traded exchange-traded products for the month, with ETCs based on gold and silver accounting for three and two of the top ten spots, respectively.

The most traded ETF on Barclays’ platform in April was the iShares FTSE 100 ETF (ISF). This fund, which has more than £4.1 billion in assets, provides physically replicated exposure to the blue-chip FTSE 100 index.

The other FTSE-based ETFs to appear in the top ten ‘most traded’ were the ETFX FTSE 100 Super Short Strategy (2X) ETF (SUK2), which provides two times the inverse performance of the FTSE 100; the iShares FTSE 250 ETF (MIDD), which offers access to UK mid-cap stocks; and the iShares FTSE UK Dividend Plus ETF (IUKD), which provides exposure to the 50 highest yielding stocks within the FTSE 350 index.

This latter fund has seen assets swell to more than £634 million as investors have searched for alternative sources of income to gilts or corporate bonds.

Recent fluctuations in the value of gold led to increased client interest in the yellow metal in April, with the ETFS Physical Gold $ (PHAU), ETFS Physical Gold £ (PHGB), and iShares Physical Gold (SGLN) ETCs featuring in the top ten most traded for the month, with a 107% increase in trades from March.

The research findings also showed a knock-on effect of the volatility of gold on silver, with the ETFS Physical Silver (PHSP) and ETFS Daily Leveraged Silver (LSIL) products both featuring in the top ten traded in April, with a 173% increase in trades from March 2013.

Interestingly, all of the top ten most traded products come from just two providers: iShares, which is part of investment giant BlackRock, and ETF Securities, which is the global leader in the commodities space.

Chris Stevenson, Barclays Stockbrokers, said: “In April we saw clients split their focus across the UK and gold for their investments through ETFs and ETCs. Our investors’ sentiment is still mixed on gold with a 48/52 buy/sell split in April across the three physical gold ETCs in our top ten trades, whilst they still see good value in the FTSE with a 62/38 buy/sell split in iShares FTSE 100 following some volatility throughout the month.”

He added: “Barclays Stockbrokers investors have consistently used ETFs as effective and accessible investment vehicles and are increasingly using them to capture short-term market movements, as well as in longer-term portfolio construction.”

The analysis also found increased client interest in the US developed equity market through the large-cap  iShares S&P 500 ETF (IUSA)

Barclays Stockbrokers top 10 most traded ETFs/ETCs in April 2013:

Position ETF / ETC
1 iShares FTSE 100
2 ETFS Physical Gold ($)
3 ETFS Physical Gold (£)
4 ETFX FTSE 100 Super Short Strategy (2X)
5 iShares S&P 500
6 iShares Physical Gold
7 iShares FTSE 250
8 ETFS Physical Silver (£)
9 iShares FTSE UK Dividend Plus
10 ETFS Daily Leveraged Silver


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