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Global X Silver Miners ETF ( SIL) 3.8%

Silver prices have broken through the $40 per ounce level for the first time since 1980. Investors seeking equity exposure to this popular precious metal have turned to the SIL, pushing the fund to strong gains.

Other precious metal-related ETFs are jumping as well. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF ( GDX) and the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares ( PALL) are other big movers.

WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity ETF ( DXJ) 2.3%

Japan-related ETFs have run into headwinds as investors, market commentators, and analysts continue to grasp the total impact of March's devastating earthquake and tsunami. Funds such as DXJ and iShares MSCI Japan Index Fund ( EWJ) have proven to be particularly volatile at the end of this week as aftershocks remind investors of the challenges that still face the nation.

SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF ( XES) 1.1%

A diverse collection of oil producer-related ETFs are ending the week on a positive note, benefiting from crude's continued ascension.

In the past I urged investors to turn to equity-based funds such as XES and the iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment & Services Index Fund ( IEZ) to gain exposure to the oil and energy markets.


iPath Dow Jones UBS Sugar Subindex Total Return ETN ( SGG) -2.6%

Sugar prices have struggled throughout the past week, tumbling for four consecutive days. With Friday's decline, the fund has returned to levels seen in mid-March.

Agriculture continues to be a popular corner of the markets. However, as evidenced by the recent action seen from SGG, single commodity funds are prone to volatile day-to-day action.

Market Vectors Small Cap India ETF ( SCIF) -1.7%

The Indian marketplace is running into headwinds as we close out the trading week. The nation's small-cap companies are getting hit particularly hard, leading SCIF to suffer notable losses.

Although it got off to a rough start in 2011, throughout much of March and the start of April, SCIF has staged an impressive recovery. Looking to the days and weeks ahead, it will be interesting to see if funds like SCIF and WisdomTree India Earnings ETF ( EPI) can hold onto their recent gains.

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