Despite ample geopolitical risk courtesy of Russia’s ongoing conflict with Ukraine, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is barely higher over the past month.
Over the same period, the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) has lost 1.1%, but recent price action in the precious metals could be a sign of bullishness to come. “Last week’s upside reversals in gold and silver got the bullish juices flowing, but the technical evidence for a new bull market is not yet there. It does appear to be getting close, however,” writes Michael Kahn for Barron’s.
Not only did gold’s 50-day moving average recently cross above its 200-day line, notching what is known as a bullish golden cross, GLD’s “weekly charts show the relative strength index (RSI) setting higher lows between June and December even as prices set equal lows. This means the bears were tired as 2013 ended, and the fact that this indicator continued to rise this year suggests the bulls are starting to wake up,” according to Kahn.
Risk-off sentiment can also power gold higher. One of the better trades this year has been long U.S. bonds, long gold as momentum stocks have faded. [Ukraine Crisis Helping Gold ETFs]
Gold ETFs have seen inflows for two straight weeks, “highlighting investor anxiety about the escalating situation in eastern Ukraine and resurgence in insurance-asset demand. Gold is also gaining traction as a portfolio diversifier as equity markets have displayed their sensitivity to emerging market headwinds,” said ETF Securities in a research note.
As for silver, SLV continues to find support in the $18.50 area and is also sporting an improving relative strength condition. Year-to-date, investors have poured $221 million into SLV, the largest silver ETF. [Investors Support Silver ETFs]