Safe-Haven Precious Metals ETFs Plunge on Strong USD

Precious metals-related exchange traded fund plummeted Monday as the U.S. dollar strengthened and expectations for another quick coronavirus stimulus package dwindled.

Among the worst-performing non-leveraged ETFs of Monday, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) was 2.3% lower and the iShares Silver Trust (SLV) was down 8.7% as Comex gold futures pushed 2.6% lower to $1,911.0 per ounce and Comex silver futures decreased  9.5% to $24.6 per ounce.

“Gold should be trading higher on safe-haven demand but it’s kind of a repeat back like in the spring when the market sell-off comes, market participants have been selling off assets across the board,” Bob Haberkorn, senior market strategist at RJO Futures, told Reuters. “There’s just a lack of safe-haven buying and it’s following the sell-off in equities and dollar strength is an additional weakness.”

Meanwhile, U.S. equity benchmarks touched their lowest level in seven weeks Monday while the U.S. dollar Index rose 0.8% to 93.66, its highest daily percentage gain since March.

“Tug-of-war between the dollar and gold is expected to play out until there is a major shift in global risk sentiment, or if investors can get a better grasp on the U.S. monetary policy outlook,” FXTM market analyst Han Tan told Reuters.

The markets weakened as traders cut back on bets for a quick coronavirus relief package. Many believe that Congress will have its hands full trying to handle the nominee for the next Supreme Court Justice, following the death of Top Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“The chances of Congress agreeing on any stimulus package before January is asymptotically close to zero,” Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO, told Reuters. “A move back and close above $1,900 is needed to grant a short-term reprieve but looks like we may have to test the lows of the correction, $1,863 at some stage soon.”

Precious metals prices have been falling over the past month as hopes of further stimulus waned. The U.S. Congress has been in a deadlock over the size and scope of the next coronavirus stimulus package.

Investors will now wait on speeches by Fed committee members, including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will appear before Congressional committees later this week.

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