Trump Tariff Talk Lifts Gold ETFs

The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and other gold-backed exchange traded products rallied last week as investors sought safe-haven assets amid fears of trade wars related to the White House’s tariff plans.

President Donald Trump ordered tariffs on Chinese goods, describing the US trade deficit with China as “out of control.” The trade crackdown is a big deal because the United States and China are the world’s two biggest economies. A major slowdown in trade could darken the otherwise bright economic outlook.

“President Trump’s new $60 billion tariffs on a raft of Chinese imports to the US may be met with $3bn of tariffs on 128 US products, Beijing’s state-run Xinhua news agency said, ‘including pork, wine, and seamless steel tubes,’” reports BullionVault.

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On Thursday, when broader U.S. equity indexes plunged, the VanEck Vectors Steel ETF (NYSEArca: SLX) tumbled Thursday after the White House unveiled a diluted version of its original tariff plan, which previously sparked domestic steelmakers higher.

Gold’s Safe-Haven Status

For gold investors, tariff jitters took precedent over the interest rate hike recently announced by the Federal Reserve, a move that could have weighed on bullion and ETFs like GLD and IAU, but did not.