5 ETFs For $120 Brent Crude (BNO, NORW, FAA)
The price of Brent Crude for topped $120 per barrel earlier today, running to an eight-month high in the process. Forget West Texas Intermediate flirting with $105 per barrel. Brent is the global benchmark. And if you want in on Brent's action, try the U.S. Brent Oil Fund (NYSE: BNO), which including today's gains, is up over 8% year-to-date.
By comparison, the U.S. Oil Fund (NYSE: USO), which tracks WTI futures, is up about 2% year-to-date including today's gains. Or you can eschew both of these ETFs and opt for equity-based ETFs that respond to oil's gyrations. Not a bad idea at all.
Let's take a look at some ETFs that are ways to play to rising oil prices, Brent in particular.
Market Vectors Russia ETF (NYSE: RSX) As we've previously noted few country-specific ETFs respond to oil prices and then outperform them the way Russia ETFs. The obvious downside is that an ETF like RSX can tumble even more than futures when oil pullbacks.
Russia is the world's largest oil producer and arguably the best-positioned to take advantage of $120 and higher Brent because Mother Russia is not constrained by OPEC quotas. Sometimes, membership does not have its privileges.
iShares MSCI Malaysia Index Fund (NYSE: EWM) There are other reasons to like this ETF but high oil prices are rarely mentioned as a catalyst for this ETF. That makes sense because energy stocks garner only token representation in EWM, but Malaysia is a net oil exporter. That should be good for the country's economy, in turn benefiting EWM.
SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSE: XOP) XOP's lineup is decidedly American, so Brent isn't the primary catalyst here. Actually, XOP has outperformed BNO by decent margin this year. The upside of XOP is that the ETF isn't heavy on integrated oil stocks, which are often slow to react to oil's upside moves. This high beta ETF has a chart that gets stronger by the day. Sure, take some profits now if you've been involved with XOP for a while. Just don't liquidate the entire position.
Guggenheim Airline ETF (NYSE: FAA) Wanting to know why FAA is getting slammed to the tune of more than 6% today? Fortunately, it's not because of a crash or another airline bankruptcy. It's because of rising oil prices. Remember this factoid: A $1 increase in oil prices costs the global airline business $1.6 billion. In other words, FAA makes this list as a SHORT candidate.
Global X Norway ETF (NYSE: NORW) Yes, playing the Global X Norway ETF as way of getting oil exposure really means you're getting a proxy for Statoil (NYSE: STO), but let's not quibble. Norway is an oil exporter, Statoil has announced significant new finds in recent months and this is developed market we're talking about making NORW an ideal way for a conservative investor to get international exposure while tapping rising oil prices at the same time.
NORW is up more than 16% year-to-date, but might have upside potential of at least another 10% from current levels.
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