ETFs See Healthy Asset Gain

Last year was kind to the exchange-traded-funds (ETFs) market, with a whopping 45% jump in assets over the year to $775.8 billion as of December 31, according to the latest data from State Street Global Investors.
A State Street report said December assets were up $36.4 billion, or 4.9% over November. Year over year, the number of ETFs was up by 10%.

The data also showed investors were apparently particularly keen on commodity ETFs (a 105%-asset jump for the year), fixed-income ETFs (up 78% for the year), and international ETFs (also up 78% for the year).  Fixed-income funds crossed the $100 billion mark for the year with a 2.1% December increase and a 78.3% year-over-year hike.

The size and international categories saw the biggest leaps in absolute terms, up $20.8 billion and $5.3 billion, respectively, in December over the previous month. Gains in the size category saw the large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap areas with $16.5 billion, $1.6 billion, and $2.6 billion December increases, respectively.

Among the sector funds, only Energy and Consumer Staples fell in absolute terms. The REIT, Technology, and Utilities sectors were all up over $1 billion in December.

Black Rock, State Street, and Vanguard continue to dominate the ETF market, according to the data. Together, the three account for 84.1% of the U.S.-listed ETF market.

The top three U.S. ETFs in terms of dollar volume traded for the month were the SPDR S&P 500, iShares Russell 2000, and PowerShares QQQ.