Gold and the related exchange traded funds have been among this year's most moribund asset classes. Gold miners stocks and ETFs have fared noticeably worse, but despite some modest Friday losses, bullion and miners funds have been solid performers this week.
China's move to devalue the yuan is being cited as a primary catalyst behind bullion bullishness this week and for those that are believers in seasonal trends, the start of India's wedding season is fast-approaching. That is an important gold catalyst because the country is the second-largest gold consumer in the world behind China.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX), the largest gold miners ETF, is up 7.7 percent this week, a move that has brought some much needed relief to the downtrodden miners complex. With GDX rising, its leveraged counterparts are on fire.
Heading into Friday's session, the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSE: JNUG) and the Direxion Daily Gold Miners Bull 3X ETF (NYSE: NUGT) were that issuer's two best triple-leveraged funds on a month-to-date basis with gains of 20.8 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively. JNUG is the triple-leveraged answer to the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ).
Remember, it was just a week ago that Direxion announced reverse splits of 1-for-10 for NUGT and 1-for-5 for JNUG.
ETF reverse splits, in most meaning nearly all instances, do not come about because the fund in question is performing well. That is the case with JNUG and NUGT, which have posted an average year-to-date loss of over 62 percent.
That dramatic decline underscores weakness in the mining complex, but as Direxion notes, some big gold miners are taking steps to deal with a turbulent environment for gold.
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