Gold, USD ETFs Diverging on Renewed Fed Rate Concerns

Gold and U.S. dollar exchange traded funds are moving in separate directions again after a strengthening U.S. economy renewed speculation that the Federal Reserve could hike interest rates before the end of the year.

The PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP) rose 0.2% Wednesday and is trading back above its 200-day simple moving average. UUP tracks the price movement of the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, including the euro, Japanese yen, British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc.

Related: Are Dollar ETFs Ready to Rally?

Meanwhile, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the largest physically backed gold ETF, fell 1.1% and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest gold miners ETF by assets, declined 5.0% on Wednesday.

The divergence reflects growing speculation that the Federal Reserve may hike rates by the end of the year. Options traders now price in a 21% chance the Fed could hike borrowing costs in September, compared to a 2% chance just two weeks ago, reports Jamie Chisholm for Financial Times.


Fueling bets of a potential Fed rate hike, new-home construction in the U.S. rose more than previously expected, adding on to a number of recent reports that indicated the economy is strengthening, writes Lilian Karunungan for Bloomberg.

“The market will recalibrate on Fed rate-hike expectations to price in at least one” this year, Charlie Lay, a foreign-exchange strategist in Singapore at Commerzbank AG, told Bloomberg. “That should support the dollar.”