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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

(PGM) - Get iPath Series B Bloomberg Platinum Subindex Total Return ETN Report

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 Ford Motor Company Report



(TM) - Get Toyota Motor Corp. Report

, and the survival of

General Motors

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

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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

(GDX) - Get VanEck Gold Miners ETF Report

, up 21%. This fund has 14% of its assets in

Barrick Gold


, 11% in



, 8.8% in

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Newmont Corporation Report

and 5.4% in

AngloGold Ashanti

(AU) - Get AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. Report


Other metal and mineral funds also gained as the economy showed signs of improvement.


Market Vectors Steel Index Fund

(SLX) - Get VanEck Steel ETF Report

, which invests in steel and metal producers, rose 15% last month. The fund benefited from outsized returns of 30% from

U.S. Steel

(X) - Get United States Steel Corporation Report

, 26% from

AK Steel

(AKS) - Get AK Steel Holding Corporation Report

and 26% from

Steel Dynamics

(STLD) - Get Steel Dynamics, Inc. Report


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

(XME) - Get SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF Report

increased 15%, bolstered by the 30% increase in

Massey Energy



For the best rated exchange-traded funds, check out our

Top Rated ETFs



Reported by Kevin Baker in Jupiter, Fla.

Kevin Baker became the senior financial analyst for TSC Ratings upon the August 2006 acquisition of Weiss Ratings by, covering mutual funds. He joined the Weiss Group in 1997 as a banking and brokerage analyst. In 1999, he created the Weiss Group's first ratings to gauge the level of risk in U.S. equities. Baker received a B.S. degree in management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.B.A. with a finance specialization from Nova Southeastern University.