After slumping to end 2016, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) posted gains of about 3% in the first week of the new year.
Gold ETFs have also been grappling with the surprising results of last month’s U.S. presidential election. Investors widely expected gold to rally if Republican Donald Trump won the presidential election earlier this month, which he did, but that thesis proved incorrect. Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton may have actually been the preferred victor for gold ETFs because historical data suggest gold performs better when Democrats are in the White House.
Gold has enjoyed greater demand in a low interest-rate environment as the hard asset becomes more attractive to investors compared to yield-bearing assets. However, traders lose interest in gold when rates rise since the bullion does not produce a yield.
In the face of a stronger dollar and speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as many as three times this year, gold prices could move modestly higher with some help from emerging markets, namely China and India.