ETF Trends
ETF Trends

It sounds like a broken record at this point, but gold has plunged 29% this year, its 13-year bull market has come to a resounding end, gold exchange traded funds are among the worst outflow offenders and mining ETFs are among the worst when it comes to performance.

The worst may not be over for the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU), Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) and friends. Gold futures traded as low as $1,188 per troy ounce Friday before rising back above $1,200, but the line in the sand is $1,180. A drop below there could spell disaster. [Gold ETFs Bleed Again in December]

Michael Shaoul, chairman of New York-based Marketfield Asset Management argues that “gold’s bear market is following a similar pattern leading up to the 50% drop the S&P 500 suffered when the tech bubble burst in 2000 to 2002,” reports Steven Russolillo for the Wall Street Journal.

Making matters worse for gold is that tapering has arrived and along with it expectations that reduced Federal Reserve asset buying will further hamper commodities. A case can be made that quantitative easing has not benefited gold, at least not when factoring in this year’s plunge, the way gold bugs were hoping for.

Over the past three years, GLD is down 14.4%, but the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSEArca: SPY) is higher by 54.6%.

Adam Koos, president of Libertas Wealth Management Group, told Myra Saefong of MarketWatch “Unfortunately for gold bulls, there is no bottom in sight from a technical viewpoint, so what looked like a bottom-forming range has now broken out to the downside,” while adding gold buyers should wait until mid-January before considering new positions.

Tapering, India’s efforts to ameliorate its current account deficit by hiking tariffs on gold and expectations of another strong year ahead for U.S. stocks are giving market observers reason to predict another glum year ahead for bullion. Since GLD debuted in 2004, it has not suffered two consecutive down years.

SPDR Gold Shares

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD and SPY.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, 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.