Gold Regains Its Glow; GLD, JNUG Surge

The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) and Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSEARCA:JNUG) are rallying in early trading

by Alex Eppstein

Published on Aug 20, 2015 at 10:52 AM

Gold stocks caught a lift yesterday from a swooning stock market and the newly released Fed minutes. Specifically, the central bank tapped the brakes on September rate hike speculation, which simultaneously weighed on the dollar and boosted the malleable metal. That upward momentum is carrying through to today, as evidenced by the action at the SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) and Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSEARCA:JNUG).

GLD was last seen 1.5% higher at $110.17, after flirting with its highest perch in over a month. In fact, since hitting a five-year low of $103.43 in late July, the shares have surged 6.5%.

Option traders have responded, too, based on data from the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). During the last two weeks, speculators have bought to open 2.52 GLD calls for every put, a ratio that outstrips all comparable readings taken in the past 12 months. In other words, traders have been buying to open calls over puts at an annual-high clip.

Meanwhile, JNUG has burst to a 13.2% gain at $12.77, and muscled atop its 40-day moving average for the first time since mid-June. Longer term, however, the exchange-traded fund (ETF) remains nearly 48% lower in 2015.

Not surprisingly short sellers have been upping the bearish ante, with short interest doubling during the most recent reporting period -- and now accounting for 17.7% of JNUG's float. Nonetheless, at the ETF's typical trading volume, it would take less than one day to buy back all of these bearish bets.

The SPDR Gold Trust ETF (NYSEARCA:GLD) and Direxion Shares Exchange Traded Fund Trust (NYSEARCA:JNUG) are by no means the only gold names staring at solid mid-morning gains. In fact, even Eldorado Gold Corp (USA) (NYSE:EGO) -- which bucked yesterday's sector-wide advance -- is running hot, up 2.8% at $3.99.

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