ETFs tracking technology and electronics saw the biggest inflows of any sector, attracting more than €4 billion. Inflows were particularly pronounced in the US.
Biotechnology ETFs were the best performing segment with ETFs falling under this umbrella averaging returns of 11.2%. Leisure - a broad and little-used category that includes food services, travel and hotels - was the second best performing sector delivering returns of 10.8%.
In relative terms, chemical ETFs were the biggest winners, seeing their AUM increase 90% over six months. As the segment is quite small, however, the large percentage change translates to only €123 million.
The biggest losers so far this year have been ETFs linked to basic materials stocks - ore, timber, chemicals, etc. - which saw outflows of nearly €400m. This asset class, which supplies building stock for the real economy, is highly cyclical and correlates with commodity prices.
The worst performing segment by a large margin was natural gas, which saw performance fall off a cliff, declining by 23%. Relatedly, energy as a sector declined 17%. The poor performance of these ETFs is related to the lower prices of oil.