Exchange-traded fund assets rose in September, though growth was considerably less impressive than in the previous month.

Still, most observers agree that assets are on track to reach and exceed 2005 ETF flows.

According to data from State Street Global Advisors, during September, U.S.-listed ETF assets rose by $4 billion to $363 billion. This compares to the roughly $10 billion in assets accumulated in August.

Through the end of September, ETFs have accumulated about $60 billion in assets so far in 2006, which means they are likely to meet -- and even beat -- last year's inflows of approximately $70 billion.

The biggest winners for the month were funds that represent two styles of investing -- value and growth.

This group garnered over $2 billion in assets, with a good chunk coming from Barclays Global Investors' iShares Russell 1000 Growth ( IWF) and iShares Russell 1000 Value ( IWD).

Together, these products accumulated almost $1 billion in new investments.

ETFs that track specific sectors of the market also performed well, collecting about $1.7 billion in assets.

More than half of that growth was spurred by State Street's Select Sector SPDR-Financial ( XLF) and the Select Sector SPDR-Technology ( XLK).

There were only two sectors that had negative flows for the month -- energy and materials. However, year to date, no individual ETF sector has logged negative flows.

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