Rising interest rates are believed to be a death knell for gold, but the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is up 2.7% over the past 90 days, a period in which 10-year Treasury yields have surged 17.5%.

Although GLD and its gold ETF brethren have defied interest rate logic, investors are not waiting around to see how long that trend will last. GLD has lost more than $26 million in assets under management this year, but second-quarter departures from the fund total $1.2 billion, enough to knock GLD from the ranks of the 10 largest ETFs. [Euro-Denominated Gold ETF Shines in Commodity Space]

Somewhat quietly, gold miners ETFs have been even better as of late. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest and most heavily traded gold miners ETF, is higher by 4.2% over the past three months while its small-cap companion, the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ), has surged 13.6%. Some market observers are forecasting more bullishness for the miners. [This ETF is Ready to Rally]

“Take a look below at the price ratio of GDX relative to our newly created Beta Rotation Index (BETAEQ). The Beta Rotation Index rotates around the S&P 500 and defensive sectors based on our Dow Award-winning paper. The index is particularly powerful because as a “smart beta” index, it has been shown over a market cycle to outperform the S&P 500 by being defensive at the right time (on average). As a reminder, a rising price ratio means the numerator/GDX is outperforming (up more/down less) the denominator/BETAEQ. Note that the ratio has flat-lined and may be basing against equities,” writes Michael Gayed of Pension Partners for MarketWatch.

Investors are missing out. During the current quarter, GDX has bled almost $349 million in assets while $159.1 million has been pulled from GDXJ.

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