NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Welcome to Don Dion's "Daily ETF Winners and Losers." Be sure to stop by each day to find out which ETFs are gaining or losing.
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF ( GDXJ) 1.9% The market's mixed action is helping to rekindle investor interest in precious metals, propelling physically backed ETFs like iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) and iShares Silver Trust ( SLV) to more than 1% gains. Small, volatile junior gold miners are witnessing the strongest action, however. GDXJ is currently testing its July highs. iPath Dow Jones UBS Cotton Subindex Total Return ETN ( BAL) 1.5% Cotton prices have risen stealthily over the past three days, driving the futures-backed BAL back above its 50-day moving average. The last time this region was breached was in April. The agriculture industry has held up noticeably well despite seemingly resounding concerns about the global growth picture. Investors can gain relatively stable exposure to agriculture futures contracts using the PowerShares DB Agriculture Fund ( DBA). United States Natural Gas Fund ( UNG) 0.5% The futures-backed UNG is seeing strength, climbing for a third-consecutive session. Despite this string of gains, however, the fund still has some ground to cover before reaching the levels seen during its sell off late last week. The iPath Dow Jones UBS Natural Gas Subindex Total Return ETN ( GAZ) is seeing gains as well.
Market Vectors Poland ETF ( PLND) -4.4% ETFs linked to international markets are taking hits as we approach the end of the week. Leading the way lower are Europe-focused funds like PLND, iShares MSCI Switzerland Index Fund ( EWL) and iShares MSCI Germany Index Fund ( EWG). The Germany ETF has had a rough start to September. As concerns about the EU debt crisis continue to rage, EWG shares have tumbled to last-year levels. Guggenheim Solar ETF ( TAN) -3.2% Although it managed a bounce on Wednesday, the solar energy industry ETF has given back these gains and is once again heading towards previous all-time lows. News that industry member Solyndra is declaring bankruptcy has reminded investors of the risks associated with this slice of the alternative energy spectrum. Funds like TAN are not the best options for conservative investors at this time. iShares MSCI South Korea Index Fund ( EWY) -2.5% Outside of Europe, South Korea, Israel and Brazil are stumbling as well, pushing funds like EWY, iShares MSCI Israel Capped Investable Market Index Fund ( EIS) and Market Vectors Brazil Small Cap Index ETF ( BRF) to industry-leading losses.