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Data from Barclays Stockbrokers, a leading execution-only broker, has revealed that while UK-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) continued to dominate client ETF purchases in September, the month also saw an increase in demand for commodities-based products.
During the month, 50% of the top ten ETF purchases made by clients of Barclays Stockbrokers were UK focused.
Impressively, the £4.9 billion iShares FTSE 100 ETF (ISF), issued by ETF juggernaut iShares, part of investment giant BlackRock, stayed in top spot as the most purchased ETF for the month – a position it has been in for the 18th week in a row this year.
However, there were two new entrants to the top 10 purchased list, demonstrating appetite from clients for alternatives, specifically commodities. The ETFS Natural Gas (NGSP) and ETFS Physical Platinum (PHPT), both issued by commodities specialist ETF Securities, appeared for the first time this year, in eighth and ninth places respectively.
When looking at ETF client holdings compared to the previous month (August 2013), there was a shift in focus away from emerging markets, with the iShares China Large Cap UCITS ETF (FXC) dropping out of the top 10 holdings list. Instead, client holdings favoured an income focus, with two fifths (40%) of the top ten holdings offering some degree of income, the most popular being the iShares UK Dividend UCITS ETF (IUKD).
Commenting on the data, Chris Stevenson, Barclays Stockbrokers, said: “The UK remains popular with our ETF investors, comprising half of the top ten purchases in the month of September. However, last month, one trend that emerged was towards alternatives, evidenced by new ETF entrants appearing in the top ten purchase and holdings lists for the month. It is encouraging to see our self-directed clients seeking to diversify their portfolios.”