NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Here are this week's ETF winners and losers.
iShares Silver Trust
Silver prices rallied this week, powering the physically backed SLV to strong gains this week. Silver is used extensively in the industrial world, but investors also turn to it sometimes as a safe haven, like gold.
Speaking of gold,
Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF
managed to score gains this week as well.
ETFS Physical Palladium Shares
In the world of precious metals, palladium was another big winner, with
ETFS Physical Palladium Shares
pocketing strong gains. Looking to next week, investors looking to invest in this white metal will want to keep a close watch on auto sales numbers scheduled to be released. Both palladium and platinum are used in the production of catalytic converters. Investors can track price movements in platinum using the
ETFS Physical Platinum Shares
iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund
After suffering through a weak start to the week, the Thailand ETF staged an impressive comeback, leading it back into positive territory by Friday. This week marks the second in a row in which THD has landed on my weekly list of winners.
Throughout this summer, this Southeast Asian nation-focused ETF's rally has been impressive, resulting in a new all-time high.
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United States Natural Gas Fund
Natural gas prices struggled every day this week in light of concerns regarding the broad economy and a weak storage report form the Energy Information Administration. The fuel's poor performance placed pressure on the futures-backed UNG, which managed to carve out new all-time lows.
This week, investors were treated to the launch of
Alerian MLP ETF
. Although there are a number of ETNs available which track MLPs, the launch of AMLP marks the first time investors can tap into this attractive asset class using an ETF.
iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund
The Mexican markets got knocked this week, pushing EWW to new August lows. EWW is noticeably top-heavy with Carlos Slim's telecom conglomerate
representing over a quarter of the fund's assets. Because of this heavy exposure, AMX's performance can typically be seen as the driving factor for the fund's movements. As expected, this firm got hit hard.
Fellow top holding
also struggled this week in light of poor U.S. housing data.
SPDR S&P Metals & Mining ETF
For the most part, pain was the story for companies involved in the metals and mining industries this week. Although they managed to recover a good portion of their losses thanks to Friday's rally, XME and
Market Vectors Steel ETF
still ended the week on a sour note.
Steel and other basic materials will likely be tricky areas of the market to navigate in coming weeks as investors remain wary and confidence takes a backseat to fear.
--Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.
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At the time of publication, Dion Money Management was long iShares MSCI Thailand Investable Market Index Fund, Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF and iShares MSCI Mexico Index Fund.
Don Dion is president and founder of
, a fee-based investment advisory firm to affluent individuals, families and nonprofit organizations, where he is responsible for setting investment policy, creating custom portfolios and overseeing the performance of client accounts. Founded in 1996 and based in Williamstown, Mass., Dion Money Management manages assets for clients in 49 states and 11 countries. Dion is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts and Maine and has more than 25 years' experience working in the financial markets, having founded and run two publicly traded companies before establishing Dion Money Management.
Dion also is publisher of the Fidelity Independent Adviser family of newsletters, which provides to a broad range of investors his commentary on the financial markets, with a specific emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. With more than 100,000 subscribers in the U.S. and 29 other countries, Fidelity Independent Adviser publishes six monthly newsletters and three weekly newsletters. Its flagship publication, Fidelity Independent Adviser, has been published monthly for 11 years and reaches 40,000 subscribers.