Precious Metals Miner ETFs Surge as Gold, Silver Fuel Safe-Haven Bets

Precious metals miner sector-related ETFs rallied on Monday as investors turned to safe-haven plays like gold and silver to stick out the sudden volatility triggered by trade war fears.

Among the best performing non-leveraged ETFs of Tuesday, the ETFMG Junior Silver Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SILJ) advanced 5.3% and VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDXJ) increased 5.3%. Additionally, the Global X Silvers Miners ETF (NYSEArca: SIL) rose 3.4% and VanEck Gold Miners ETF (NYSEArca: GDX) gained 4.1%.

Meanwhile, Comex silver futures were 1.0% higher to $16.4 per ounce while Comex gold futures were up 1.3% to $1,477 per ounce.

The precious metals miners were strengthening off the backs of rising precious metal prices. Gold pushed to a more than six-year high on Monday after an escalating trade conflict between the U.S. and China pushed investors to safety plays like bullion.

“This (price action) is still about the escalation of trade tension between the U.S. and China … risk aversion is spreading in financial markets and that is something which definitely helps gold,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke told Reuters.

Menke also argued that precious metals found further support from risks of a global economic slowdown and expectations that the Federal Reserve will implement more interest rate cuts to offset the growth concerns.

Fueling the recent round of volatility on Monday, China said it would allow its yuan currency to break above the key 7 per dollar level in response to President Donald Trump’s threat of an additional 10% tariff on the rest of the $300 billion in Chinese imports.

“The near-term outlook for gold looks positive. All this volatility, growth fears, persistent weakness in economic data will be good enough for a risk-off environment,” Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures, told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar weakened to a more than one-week low against major global currencies, making precious metals cheaper for foreign buyers.

“This might encourage some more gold buying in China as a weaker yuan means a stronger dollar, and gold provides you exposure to the dollar, which makes gold attractive for the Chinese,” Menke added.

For more information on the precious metals market, visit our precious metals category.