Gold miner ETFs were down sharply again this week with a small-cap fund dropping to a new lifetime low.
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ) is down 22% for the month ended Feb. 21, according to Morningstar. [Why Gold Miner ETFs Have Lagged Gold Prices]
Gold’s decline below $1,600 an ounce has also punished bullion-backed ETFs such as SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), which is on track for a weekly loss of more than 2%. [Investors Yank Over $3 Billion from Largest Gold ETF]
“The last few months have not been good for gold, which has declined from nearly $1,800 in the beginning of October,” writes Bill Maurer at Seeking Alpha. “While the fall in gold has been noticed by many, it is the gold miners that have really felt the pinch. Many of the miners have been absolutely crushed over the last couple of months.” [Gold Miner ETF Lowest Since Sept 2009 After Fed Minutes]
In the major U.S. equity indices, the S&P 500 pared its weekly loss thanks to Friday’s rally. Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday after the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting revealed some officials are uncertain about the central bank’s quantitative easing measures.
The S&P 500 was on track for a weekly loss of 0.6% in afternoon trade Friday. The Dow was set for a slight decline of 0.1% in the holiday-shortened week, while the Nasdaq Composite slid 1.2%.
The top five unleveraged ETFs the past five sessions were PowerShares DB Gold Short ETN (NYSEArca: DGZ), Ranger Equity Bear ETF (NYSEArca: HDGE) and U.S. Natural Gas Fund (NYSEArca: UNG) with gains of at least 3%.
The bottom three unleveraged ETFs were Global X Silver Miners (NYSEArca: SIL), Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners and Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX) with setbacks of more than 8%.
In next week’s economic data, look for reports on Case-Shiller home prices, consumer confidence, new home sales, durable goods orders, personal income and spending, and construction spending.
Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.