Gold prices and related exchange traded funds plunged Friday as the strong U.S. employment data pointed to an improving economy, raising speculation on a sooner-than-anticipated Fed quantitative easing withdrawal.
The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEArca: GLD) declined 2.7% during trading Friday. Meanwhile, gold futures were down 3.0% to $1,214 per ounce.
Gold fell Friday after the U.S. dollar rose on the back of a U.S. non-farm payrolls report that revealed 195,000 new jobs last month, with an unemployment rate holding steady at 7.6% as more people entered the workforce, reports Clara Denina for Reuters. [Treasury, Gold ETFs Tank After Jobs Report as Dollar Spikes]
“After the strong U.S. numbers we are approaching the point in which the Fed will start to taper and as a consequence we fully expect that, if the U.S. economy continues to improve, you will see a further strengthening of the dollar, which is negative for the dollar-denominated gold price,” Natixis analyst Nic Brown said in the article.
If the economy recovers strongly enough, the central bank could begin tapering as soon as the end of the year, which would raise interest rates and make gold less attractive since it pays no interest.
Gold futures are set for their third consecutive week of losses. Over the second quarter, gold posted a 23% decline.
GLD is down 25.5% year-to-date. The plunging gold prices have also caused large redemptions in physical gold ETFs. According to BlackRock data, gold ETP physical holdings have declined $28.2 billion year-to-date. According to IndexUniverse data, GLD has lost $18.4 billion in assets so far this year.
SPDR Gold Trust
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Max Chen contributed to this article.
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.