Gold Miners ETFs Could be a Great Trade

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest and most heavily traded gold miners ETF, slumped again last year, but some analysts and strategists see opportunity with gold miners as investors flock to gold, restoring bullion’s safe-haven status.

Gold is seeing greater support from safe-haven demand after currency devaluations across Asia added to investment demand for a better store of value than paper currencies or stocks and bonds.

Gold assets look more attractive in a low interest rate environment as the precious metal is more competitive against assets that pay low interest, like bonds. Additionally, if the Fed holds off on further rate hikes, it would suggests the economy is not as strong, which would also help gold attract safe-haven demand.

Even if rates rose a couple basis points, the continued low rate environment is good for gold, which does not pay a yield and would struggle to compete with yield-generating assets when rates rise. Making matters worse for gold ETFs are expectations for soft near-term demand at a time of year when gold demand is usually strong. [Doubters in Gold Rally]

Some analysts argue that the gold miner space looks like a cheap buying opportunity. In July, Morgan Stanley upgraded its outlook on Goldcorp Inc (NYSE: GG), the largest gold miner in the space, pointing to the company’s attractive valuations.

Larry McDonald of Societe Generale said credit risk from the commodities collapse will hinder the Federal Reserve’s ability to raise interest rates for the rest of the year, which could slow the U.S. dollar and thus boost the price of gold and the stocks levered to gold,” reports Stephanie Yang of CNBC.