It hasn't been a great day for the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) and most ASX shares so far this Tuesday. At the time of writing, the ASX 200 has slipped by 0.71%. But that hasn't stopped one ASX exchange-traded fund (ETF) from hitting a new 52-week high.
That ETF is the BetaShares Global Uranium ETF (ASX: URNM). URNM units closed at $8.57 each yesterday afternoon. But this morning, this fund opened at $8.70 before climbing all the way up to $8.91 mid-morning. It's currently sitting at $8.88 per unit, 3.62% higher than yesterday's closing price.
That's a new 52-week high for this BetaShares ETF. It's also a new all-time record high for URNM, but that doesn't really mean all that much when the fund was only listed on the ASX back in June 2022.
While a new 52-week high is always a happy occasion, today's high watermark is just the latest in a long line of new highs the fund has enjoyed over the past month or two.
It was only back in mid-June that URNM units were going for just over $6 each. Yep, this ETF has gained more than 26% over the past month alone, as well as almost 64% since the beginning of June.
To understand why, let's look at what's under the hood of URNM's portfolio.
Why is the Global Uranium ETF powering to a new ASX 52-week highs?
As its name implies, the BetaShares Global Uranium ETF is a fund that holds a basket of uranium producers and miners from all around the world. Currently, 16.1% of its portfolio (as of 31 August) consists of ASX uranium shares.
But it is Canadian companies that are dominant in this fund's portfolio, contributing 38.4% of its overall makeup. Other contributors include Kazakhstan (13.2%), Britain (4.3%), and the People's Republic of China (3.8%).
This ETF's current top holdings are as follows:
- Cameco Corp (15.6% of URNM's weighted portfolio)
- NAC Kazatomprom JSC (14%)
- Sprott Physical Uranium Trust (12.5%)
- Nexgen Energy Ltd (5.1%)
- Denison Mines Corp (4.9%)
All of these companies would have benefitted enormously from the global surge in uranium prices that we've seen play out in recent months.
As my Fool colleague James covered just yesterday, uranium prices are currently at highs not seen since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
Not just that, but we also discussed how SP Angel mining analyst John Meyer sees uranium going from the current levels of around US$65.50 a pound to US$75-80 per pound. And that's before "rising for at least another decade". Here's some of what he said:
The market has been slowly building higher prices as mining costs rise and nuclear generators look to build stocks to guard against increasingly risky supply-side issues. We see prices rising year-on-year for next 10-20 years or till the world finds another source for large scale uninterruptible base load power with a low carbon footprint.
So it's no wonder we've seen uranium shares around the world explode in value in recent months, given this strong pricing tailwind.
On our own ASX, we've had a number of ASX uranium shares, including Paladin and Boss Energy, crack new 52-week highs just today. So it's no surprise to see the BetaShares Global Uranium ETF follow suit.