Traders Exit Gold ETFs as Dollar Leaves Metal `by the Wayside'

(Bloomberg) -- Gold buyers are moving to greener pastures.

Investors dumped exchange-traded funds backed by the metal for the eighth straight week, the longest stretch of outflows since January 2014. The exodus comes as appetite for the metal wanes amid a strengthening dollar and solid demand for equities.

Gold is on track for a fourth straight monthly loss as solid U.S. economic data and expectations of higher interest rates from the Federal Reserve drive investors into higher-yielding assets. Traders picked the dollar over the non-interest bearing metal as the haven of choice as geopolitical turmoil and a trade dispute between the U.S. and China roiled markets.

“Expect gold to remain out of favor until the Fed shifts,” John Caruso, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago, said by telephone. “As long as the Fed remains hawkish in its monetary policy stance, the dollar is the place to be. Gold has fallen by the wayside.”

Traders Exit Gold ETFs as Dollar Leaves Metal `by the Wayside'

Gold futures for August delivery fell 0.1 percent to settle at $1,239.70 an ounce as of 1:30 p.m. on the Comex in New York. That’s the lowest close this year. The metal has declined for four of the last five weeks.

Waning demand for the metal is affecting gold equities. AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. and Newcrest Mining Ltd. were among the biggest losers Monday in an index of gold miners, which extended losses after posting the worst week since May.

‘USD Strength’

While the momentum is against gold, some see a glimmer of hope. Citigroup Inc. analysts including Ed Morse and Aakash Doshi expect that the metal may turn around soon.

“While the USD strength is likely to remain a headwind for gold in the short-term, investors may favor gold again, especially if the trade friction rises further and becomes a more sizable threat to economic growth and to the decade-long equity market bull run,” the analysts said in a commodities outlook report emailed Sunday.

Total known ETF holdings dropped to 69.44 million ounces Friday, the lowest since March, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In other precious metals:

  • Silver slid on the Comex.
  • Platinum and palladium futures fell on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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