Geopolitical Risks Renew Gold ETF Trade | ETF Trends

Gold bullion and miner sector-related exchange traded funds are enjoying a happy New Year as a bout of uncertainty helped drive safe-haven demand for the precious metal.

Gold miner ETFs were among the best performers Monday, with the iShares MSCI Global Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: RING) up 3.1%, Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) up 3.1% Global X Gold Explorers ETF (NYSEArca: GLDX) 2.9% higher and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) up 2.7%.

Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) gained about 1.4% Monday whiled Comex gold futures rose 1.3% to $1,073.9 per ounce.

Gold prices rallied Monday after rising tensions in the Middle East and a broad decline in global stocks on weak Chinese economic data fueled growth concerns.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia executed a prominent Shi’ite cleric Saturday, which caused widespread unrest in Shi’ite Muslim countries and forced Saudi Arabia to cut ties with Iran after Iranian protesters rushed the embassy in Tehran, Reuters reports.

“The main driver here is the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and the escalating conflict between these two countries,” Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann told Reuters. “Weak Chinese data, coupled with plunging stock markets, is probably also playing a role, but geopolitical tensions are the main thing here.”