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ETF Bargain Hunters Look to the Plunging Gold Miners

This article was originally published on ETFTrends.com.

Precious metals miners plunged Wednesday with gold prices declining to a more than 18-month low as the U.S. dollar strengthened toward its highest level in over a year on contagion fears over the global market following the rout in the Turkish lira. Nevertheless, exchange traded fund investors are trying to catch a falling knife in the gold miners space.

Gold miner stocks and related ETFs were among the worst performers Wednesday, with the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) , the largest ETF dedicated to gold mining stocks, down 6.2%, its lowest level since late 2016. GDX decreased 14.9% year-to-date. Technical traders may also note that GDX's chart shows the ETF is currently trading in oversold territory according to its Relative Strength Index with a RSI reading of 16.0 - the RSI is a momentum indicator that measures the magnitude of recent price changes and a reading below 20 typically indicates oversold conditions.

Nevertheless, ETF investors continue to funnel money into GDX, betting on a turnaround in a potentially oversold market. GDX has experienced $1.2 billion in net inflows over the past month, according to XTF data.

Comex gold futures slipped 1.4% to $1,184 per ounce Wednesday on concerns that the recent declines in the Turkish lira could foreshadow broad weakness in the emerging markets and global economy.

“The story for gold is very much about dollar strength and emerging market weakness,” Mitsubishi analyst Jonathan Butler told Reuters. “It’s risk aversion, which is something that should be supportive of gold, but ... this is happening in an environment where the dollar is looking very strong relative to other major currencies and emerging market currencies.”

Despite its role as a traditional safe-haven play during times of uncertainty, the yellow metal has declined about 9% this year on rising U.S. interest rates and a strengthening dollar.

Related: Exchange Traded Concepts, Perth Mint Launch Physical Gold ETF

Buying Opportunity in Gold Miners

Nevertheless, some traders are looking at the recent weakness in gold and believe there may be a buying opportunity in gold miners.

Larry McDonald, macro expert and editor of the Bear Traps Report, on CNBC argued that there is a promising risk/reward set-up for gold and gold miners.

McDonald pointed out that gold miner stocks are seeing a high degree of capitulation with investors fleeing the market after an asset has posted meaningful declines. The short interest in the gold miner space has reached its highest level in five years. The Federal Reserve is widely expected to maintain a hawkish perspective. However, the Fed and the global economy may now get knocked onto a softer tightening path, which could create an attractive risk/reward into year-end.

For more information on the gold market, visit our gold category.