Gold ETFs Retreat on Strengthening USD, Rate Hike Outlook

Precious metals exchange traded funds plunged Tuesday, with gold breaking below a key support at $1,300 per ounce, as the U.S. dollar strengthened on improving economic data and speculators looked to higher interest rates.

On Tuesday, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) all declined over 3.0% as Comex gold futures decreased 3.2% to $1,270.4 per ounce.

Meanwhile, the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) plunged 5.0% and ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) dropped 4.9% as Comex silver futures plummeted 5.7% to $17.78 per ounce.

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Precious metals prices retreated on a strengthen U.S. dollar, with the U.S. dollar Index up 0.4% to 96.12, in response to upbeat U.S. data, which helped support risk appetite and fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates.

Just the better risk appetite in the market this week as Deutsche Bank seems to have stabilized for the moment,” Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, told Reuters. “We’ve done some technical damage today near-term to suggest we’re going to trade sideways to lower.”