Any hopes of cruising to the finish line of a relatively successful year were dashed on Thursday, as most benchmarks endured a rocky session that put most in the red for the week. Worries over Greece’s mounting debt, and arguments over Citi’s secondary offering plans weighed on most equity indexes throughout the day.
The ETFdb 60 Index, a benchmark measuring the performance of asset classes available through ETFs, lost 10.89 points to close at 1,017.98. The 1.1% loss for the Index was biggest percentage decline since late October.
The United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) was one of the few winners on Thursday, adding 4.0% on news that inventories were drawn down by a surprisingly large amount in recent weeks. The Energy Information Administration reported a withdrawal from U.S. gas inventories of 207 billion cubic feet for the week ended December 11, exceeding the 176 billion cubic feet analysts had predicted. The drawdown also surpassed last year’s 116 billion cubic feet reduction in storage and the five-year average withdrawal of 127 billion cubic feet.
Natural gas futures ended more than 5% higher, hitting an 11-month high.
Gold prices plummeted on Thursday as the dollar rallied, showing a surprisingly strong correlation with equity markets and continuing its plunge after a run-up to record high prices in recent months. Also losing ground were the Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ), which lost 6.2% and 5.6%, respectively.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.