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ETFs to Play as Goldman Forecasts Gold to Hit $1800

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The aggravating coronavirus outbreak is eroding risk-on sentiments for market participants. Thus, higher demand for safe-haven assets lifted gold to a seven-year high of $1,688.66 earlier this week. The yellow metal has tentatively gained more than 3% so far in February. Moreover, thanks to rising demand, holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed ETF, SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD - Free Report) rose to the highest level since November 2016 to 940.09 tonnes on Feb 25 (read: How to Play Gold Rally With ETFs).

Accordingly, on aggravating coronavirus concerns, depressed real rates and uncertainty surrounding the U.S. elections this year, Goldman Sachs GS has raised its gold forecast to $1,800 per ounce. In this regard, the global investment bank has said, “in the event that the virus effect spreads to Q2, we could see gold top $1,800/oz already on a 3-month basis.” 

Factors Driving the Upside

The spike in the number of infected cases outside mainland China has made the outbreak a serious threat to global economic growth. South Korea is grappling with the rising COVID-19 cases, which have now reached 1,595. Meanwhile, Italy, which was already struggling with a weak economy, has witnessed a spike in the number of infected cases to 470. Moreover, with an already struggling economy, the coronavirus outbreak is posing a serious threat for Japan as well (read: ETF Strategies to Mark as Covid-19 Flares up Recession Scares).

Apart from the virus-related concerns, increased possibility of further interest rate cuts is lowering the opportunity cost of investing in non-yielding bullion. It is worth noting here that market participants expect around two rate cuts by the Fed of around 25 basis points (bps) along with a 10-bp cut by the European Central Bank by December 2020.

Gold ETFs to Shine

Gold ETFs mostly move in tandem with gold prices. The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD - Free Report) , iShares Gold Trust (IAU - Free Report) , SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust (GLDM - Free Report)  and GraniteShares Gold Trust (BAR - Free Report) are some of the popular ETFs. These funds have a Zacks ETF Rank #3 (Hold). Below we have discussed them in detail:


This is the largest and most-popular ETF in the gold space with AUM of $49.17 billion and average daily volume of around 8.7 million shares. The fund reflects the performance of the price of gold bullion, less the Trust's expenses. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/10th of an ounce of gold. Expense ratio is 0.40% (read: Gold to Hit $2000 Soon? ETFs to Bet On).


This ETF offers exposure to day-to-day movement of the price of gold bullion. It has AUM of $19.76 billion and trades in solid volume of 19.4 million shares a day, on average. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/100th of an ounce of gold. The ETF charges 25 bps in annual fees (read: ETF Areas That Can Stay Strong Amid Covid-19 Outbreak).


This product seeks to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion. Being one of the low-cost products with an expense ratio of 0.18%, GLDM has accumulated $1.39 billion in AUM and trades in average daily volume of 1.3 million shares. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/100th of an ounce of gold.


With AUM of $684.3 million and expense ratio of 0.17%, the fund tracks the performance of gold price. It trades in moderate volume of 212,000 shares per day, on average. At launch, each share of this ETF represented about 1/100th of an ounce of gold (see: all the Precious Metal ETFs here).

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