Copper ETF: What's The Big Deal?
News of the impending debuts of ETFs backed by physical copper sure has gotten a lot of attention. Copper-backed ETFs have become such a big deal that one might think the issuers fighting to enter the space have found a cure for cancer or solved cold fusion.
There was the recent bit about JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) massive $1.5 billion copper trade on the London Mercantile Exchange. RBS has said a copper-backd ETF could boost prices to $4.50 a pound and one analyst quoted in a Financial Times piece said a successful copper ETF could be the difference between copper priced at $8,500 per ton and $10,000 per ton.
Remember, the red industrial metal has never traded above $9,000 per ton.
So as JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank (NYSE: DB), iShares and ETF Securities race to bring the first ballyhooed physical copper ETF to market investors may do well to, gasp, pay this even minimal attention.
The reason is simple: In the ETF world, there are already exceptional ways to play copper. Meaning the miners.
This is a trend that has already made itself clear with gold and silver. Gold mining ETFs, such as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) have outperformed funds like the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD).
When it comes to copper, the iPath DJ-UBS Copper TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSE: JJC) hasn't disappointed. On the other hand, the First Trust ISE Global Copper Index (NYSE: CU) and the Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSE: COPX) have left JJC in the dust.
So when it comes to a physical copper ETF, it might be fair to say "No big deal."
*Performance data is for the last three months.
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