In a surprise move given its status as an uncorrelated asset relative to equities, gold prices were struggling alongside the equities market in Wednesday’s trading session as coronavirus fears persisted—an ongoing theme that uncertainty is causing investors to keep cash in hand.

“Gold and silver prices are moderately lower in midday U.S. futures trading Wednesday,” wrote Kitco’s Jim Wyckoff. “The prospects of less worldwide general consumer demand for the precious metals is on this day trumping the safe-haven investor demand that has been seen in recent sessions and which Monday drove gold prices to a seven-year high above $1,700.00. April gold futures were last down $13.30 an ounce at $1,647.00. May Comex silver prices were last down $0.16 at $16.795 an ounce.”

“The World Health Organization on Wednesday declared the coronavirus a pandemic,” Wyckoff added. “While this did not surprise the marketplace it was a stark reminder of an outbreak that threatens to significantly crimp the global economy. Former Surgeon General Scott Gotlieb said on CNBC a short while ago the U.S. should be more pro-active and start shutting down big public events such as the NCAA basketball tournaments. The U.S. stock market hit session lows and is sharply down following the WHO announcement.”

However, if this is only the start of more sell-offs to come, gold could hit a peak as soon as next week.

“As we approach the top, one strategy manipulators like to deploy is to run prices to marginal new highs,” wrote AG Thorson in FX Empire. “That triggers breakout buying and allows the manipulators’ adequate volume to offload their positions. Prices reverse a day or two later, leaving the poor and naive retail traders holding the bag.”

“I suspect gold will put in its official cycle peak sometime next week, likely within a day (+ or -) of next Wednesday’s Fed announcement (if gold didn’t already top at $1704),” added Thorson. “Remember, picking the exact top is a fool’s errand, don’t be cute. Prices met our March target between $1685 – $1730; it’s time to take profits and wait for the next opportunity.”

Gold Price in US Dollars Chart

Gold Price in US Dollars data by YCharts

Gold Options in the ETF Space

Investors looking to get gold exposure can look at funds like SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD)and the SPDR Gold MiniShares (NYSEArca: GLDM). Precious metals like gold offer investors an alternative to diversify their holdings, and like other commodities, gold will march to the beat of its own drum compared to the broader market.

Traders looking for leverage can use funds like the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: NUGT), VanEck Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX) and the Direxion Daily Jr Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSEArca: JNUG).

For more market trends, visit ETF Trends.