A swift rise in gold prices late Wednesday carried the precious metal close to $1,800 an ounce. Traders are taking a shine to gold ETFs to play the rally.

“Gold futures shook off initial weakness to settle at a three-month high on Wednesday,” MarketWatch reported. “Early losses were met with vigorous buying, aided as the dollar pared gains slightly during the session.”

Gold ETFs are up more than 10% so far this year and technical analysts will be watching to see if Wednesday’s spike signals a fresh breakout for the precious metal. [Gold ETF Demand Falls 58% in 2011]

Gold is rising in the wake of the second financial bailout for Greece and expectations central banks will continue to pump liquidity into global markets. Gold miner ETFs followed the metal higher Wednesday. [Gold ETFs and Inflation]

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) and iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) erased earlier losses to rise 1%. Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) added 1.6% at last check.

iShares Gold Trust

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.

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