Gold miners exchange traded funds, such as the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ), set a torrid pace through the first half of this year, but those ETFs and their rivals have recently endured significant drubbings.

That is not preventing some market observers from predicting that gold miners stocks can rally again.

Precious metals have been under pressure over the past several weeks as hints of an improving economy and a number of hawkish statements from Fed officials raised the prospect of a tightening monetary policy. Fed funds futures imply a rising probability that the Federal Reserve will boost interest rates in December.

SEE MORE: Gold Miners ETFs Confirm Strength Against Broad Market

Stock fundamentals like cost deflation across the mining industry, share valuations below long-term average and rising M&A are all supportive of the miners space as well, but those fundamentals could be glossed over if the dollar strengthens.

The Federal Reserve is seen as the primary culprit behind the recent struggles faced by gold and the related mining ETFs. The Fed meets later this week and some traders are still wagering that the U.S. central bank could unveil its first interest rate hike of 2016.

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