The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX), the largest exchange traded fund dedicated to gold mining stocks, is essentially flat over the past month, but options traders have recently taken increased in the bellwether gold miners fund.
GDX is comprised of global gold miners, with a notable tilt toward Canadian and U.S. mining companies. 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.
“During the one-month stretch ended last Tuesday, the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA: GDX) attracted inflows of $913.24 million — the seventh largest creation for the period among all funds tracked by etf.com,” reports Schaeffer’s Investment Research. “Options traders have also gone ‘all in’ lately; over the past 10 days, GDX has racked up a call/put volume ratio of 4.17, according to buy-to-open data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).”
Over the past 20 years, gold has outperformed alternative and traditional assets, such as developed market stocks, hedge funds, developed markets debt, global real estate investments and the broader commodities complex, according to WGC data.
“Ashort-term GDX rally may yet be in the cards, as the fund enters expiration week fresh off a test of the $21 region, which has marked lows on multiple occasions over the past year — and GDX has room to rally about 16%, from Friday’s close at $21.57, before knocking on the door of peak front-month call open interest of 70,103 contracts at the deep out-of-the-money March 25 strike,” according to Schaeffer’s.
Inflation could serve as a catalyst for the yellow metal and for gold-related ETFs. By some metrics, the Fed has under-estimated U.S. inflation, which could prove beneficial to gold because the yellow metal is historically a popular inflation fighter.
Popular leveraged gold miners ETFs include the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Index Bull 3x Shares (NYSEArca: JNUG). The Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X Shares (NYSEArca: NUGT) is JNUG’s large-cap counterpart.
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