Gold Hedging Strategies

Sam Hopkins
updated | Author's Website

It may be sacrilege here at Gold World, but my international investment analysis isn’t about what’s holy in one industry or another. Today’s market is agnostic in its preference for currency vs. precious metals, so here’s a way to play the other end of the see-saw with currency ETFs.

Dollar doomers got their way with a bad employment report coming out of Washington on Friday, and spot gold rode upwards as that bad economic news and the plummeting Dow pushed more investors back to precious metals.

But then, as we’ve come to expect over recent weeks and months, schizophrenic market sentiment brought the mid-day spike of over $20 per ounce back down to just over $800 per ounce by close.

September 5 spot gold

Part of that is explained by the dollar’s recovery against a newly announced 6.1% August unemployment rate and consequent recession worries.

Of course, a day’s back-and-forth between the dollar and gold doesn’t change our long-term bullishness on bullion, but seeing this scenario over and over does lead intelligent investors to ask what they can do to pare losses on either end of the see-saw.

Rydex’s CurrencyShares exchange-traded fund series and a couple of other sponsored funds give you a great way to gain exposure to paper money, both on the long and short side.

Let’s start with the gold bull’s nemesis, the dollar…

Hedging Gold with Currency ETFs

(UUP) is the PowerShares DB U.S. Dollar Index Bullish ETF, and (UDN) is the ticker for the U.S. Dollar Bearish Fund run by PowerShares and Germany’s Deutsche Bank.

While UUP is not exactly the inverse of the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (GLD), there is a clear opposite trend when we see the chart of both over the past quarter:

Bullish dollar fund and gold

As for UDN, the bearish counterpart to UUP, the chart is a mirror, as it should be due to the funds’ opposite objectives.

And you’ve probably seen not only gold but also the euro posed as a foil to the dollar. CurrencyShares manages ETFs for eight foreign currencies, including the euro.

Here we see (FXE), the CurrencyShares Euro Trust, paired with GLD. Notice the general convergence:

gold trust and euro pairing

What all this means for you is that some allocation of money against gold’s momentum and in favor of the dollar’s short-term rise may be prudent, and that you can delve into euro holdings for a loose tandem with gold prices.

In this day and age, it’s easy to use exchange-traded funds to diversify and stabilize your portfolio.

ETFs are very liquid and, in the case of stock-based funds, multiple company holdings mean that one firm’s bad earnings won’t kill a sector-wide uptrend.

As we’ve shown you in recent articles on international gold ETFs, the appetite for fund tickers backed by precious metals keeps increasing, and today you see the other end of a comprehensive hedging strategy with currency funds.

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