NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The top-performing exchange traded funds in November rode the rally in precious metals, such as gold and platinum, as investors sought to protect themselves from inflation.
iPath Dow Jones-UBS Platinum Subindex Total Return ETN
was the had the biggest return among ETFs last month, rising 26%. Platinum climbed 9.7% in November, its biggest monthly gain since February 2008. The fund has almost doubled in the past year.
Jewelry aside, platinum is used in pollution-control devices such as catalytic converters in cars. The return to profitability by
(F - Get Report)
(TM - Get Report)
, and the survival of
has helped boost demand for platinum.
The iPath Platinum ETN earned our highest "buy"-level rating of A-plus, outperforming all other exchange-traded products measured by our stock-rating model.
Platinum ended November at $1,453.75 an ounce. While
may be hitting record highs, the price of platinum is far from challenging its record of $2,301.50, which was set in March 2008. However, renewed industrial demand suggests that gap might become narrower.
The best performing
ETF in November was the
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
, up 21%. This fund has 14% of its assets in
(ABX - Get Report)
, 11% in
(GG - Get Report)
, 8.8% in
(NEM - Get Report)
and 5.4% in
(AU - Get Report)
Other metal and mineral funds also gained as the economy showed signs of improvement.
Market Vectors Steel Index Fund
, which invests in steel and metal producers, rose 15% last month. The fund benefited from outsized returns of 30% from
(X - Get Report)
, 26% from
and 26% from
Coal-fired power plants remain the leading source of electricity in the U.S. The
PowerShares Global Coal Portfolio
, which bets on coal and energy-related mining stocks, climbed 17% in November. The
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF
increased 15%, bolstered by the 30% increase in