Precious metals miners plunged Wednesday with gold prices declining to a more than 18-month low as the U.S. dollar strengthened toward its highest level in over a year on contagion fears over the global market following the rout in the Turkish lira. Nevertheless, exchange traded fund investors are trying to catch a falling knife in the gold miners space.
Gold miner stocks and related ETFs were among the worst performers Wednesday, with the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest ETF dedicated to gold mining stocks, down 6.2%, its lowest level since late 2016. GDX decreased 14.9% year-to-date. Technical traders may also note that GDX’s chart shows the ETF is currently trading in oversold territory according to its Relative Strength Index with a RSI reading of 16.0 – the RSI is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes and a reading below 20 typically indicates oversold conditions.
Nevertheless, ETF investors continue to funnel money into GDX, betting on a turnaround in a potentially oversold market. GDX has experienced $1.2 billion in net inflows over the past month, according to XTF data.
Comex gold futures slipped 1.4% to $1,184 per ounce Wednesday on concerns that the recent declines in the Turkish lira could foreshadow broad weakness in the emerging markets and global economy.
“The story for gold is very much about dollar strength and emerging market weakness,” Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler told Reuters. “It’s risk aversion, which is something that should be supportive of gold, but … this is happening in an environment where the dollar is looking very strong relative to other major currencies and emerging market currencies.”