The largest exchange traded fund (ETF) tracking gold prices, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), was set to ease back from last week’s record high at Monday’s open as precious metals have received a tailwind from a weaker dollar.

The $56 billion gold ETF spiked as high as $141.28 a share last week.

“In a weak dollar environment like this, gold is sought as a ‘safe haven’ asset,” investment researcher Morningstar notes in its latest analyst report on the gold-bullion ETF.

The PowerShares DB US Dollar Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP), an ETF that follows the dollar’s performance against a basket of foreign currencies, is down nearly 4% year to date. The dollar ETF hit a record low of $21.62 last week.

Other large gold-bullion ETFs include the $5.8 billion iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL), while Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) and Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) invest in gold-miner shares.

Gold prices traded lower to start the week and SPDR Gold Shares was down nearly 1% to $138 in U.S. preopen dealings Monday.

The gold ETF is essentially flat so far in 2011 after selling pressure late last week. The fund has seen several attempts to push through $140 a share fizzle in recent months.

For full disclosure, Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD and GDXJ.


The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of John Spence, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.