Assets in U.S. exchange-traded funds rose to $924.9 billion as of Oct. 31 - its highest level on record - up $39.9 billion or 4.5% during the month.

According to monthly data collected by State Street Global Advisors, ETF investors increased their appetite for dividend/fundamental ETFs in October, as assets in this category increased $2.9 billion or 12% during the month. State Street found that as of Oct. 31, 2010, 938 ETFs were managed by 32 ETF managers.

In October the SPDR S&P Global Natural Resources ETF was introduced, to provide investors with diversified, global exposure across the Energy, Metals and Mining, and Agriculture sectors.

The fund seeks to track the performance of the S&P Global Natural Resources Index and includes 90 of the largest publicly-traded companies in the global natural resources and commodities businesses.

Gains in the International ETF category accounted for 36% of the total gain in ETF assets under management, according to the data. Currency remains the only category with negative assets under management growth year-to-date.

Large Cap assets rose the most for the month, with a $4.7 billion gain, followed by Large Growth, Mid Cap, and Allcap. Meanwhile, the Technology sector rose $1.7 billion, or 16.2%.

The three largest ETF managers were: BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard, accounting for approximately 84% of the U.S. listed ETF market.

The top three ETFs in terms of dollar volume traded for the month were the SPDR S&P 500 [SPY], PowerShares QQQ and iShares Russell 2000. The top three ETFs in terms of assets for the month were the SPDR S&P 500, SPDR Gold Shares, and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets.

Ruthie Ackerman is the online editor of Financial Planning magazine, a SourceMedia publication.Follow EBN on: Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Podcasts

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