Gold (IAU) : Back in grace

iShares Gold Trust - IAU - 27/12/2018

Short Term strategy: Positive (70%) / trend +
Long Term strategy: Negative (30%) / trend +

Characteristics of the ETF

The ETF IAU Gold Trust (iShares) allows the investor to access a daily exposure to gold bullion price variation, and is an easy way to access physical gold through a financial instrument, both liquid and whose access cost is limited to 0.25%.

Gold is a very volatile asset, and as any commodity does not give rise to a dividend and is a risky asset. AUM amount to approximately $ 11219 million.

Alternative ETFs: GLD (SPDR in USD), DGL (PowerShares in USD)

Index & components

Gold has the particularity of not being correlated with equity and bond markets and has also been used as a safe haven since immemorial time, especially in periods of high inflation and financial crises, as we saw during the recent period (2007-2012) marked by the subprime crisis, then by the crisis on European peripheral debts. In addition, gold is sensitive to other factors such as central bank purchases and currently there are significant flows of purchases from central banks of emerging countries such as China and India. The dynamics of US interest rates are also very important for gold prices as this precious metal naturally do not deliver dividends or coupon, so the Fed policy is a central issue for gold prices and if the Fed does not accelerate the rate of hike in the coming months it should be beneficial for gold prices.

On the other hand, in the event of an inflationary spiral as in the 1970s, the very sharp rise in interest rates becomes good news for gold as a safe haven. Gold can also be seen as a diversification alongside an equity portfolio, as the evolution of the precious metal is not correlated with economic cycles and can follow a very different evolution or opposite to the trend of stock indices, but not necessarily.

Finaly gold is denominated in US $, which can have a double effect since on the one hand the dollar is itself considered as a safe haven and the decline of the dollar tends to be favorable to commodities.

Rumors of embargoes / quotas on the import of gold in India following a demonetization policy also weighed on the prices from the end of 2016, while India is the largest consumer of gold especially for jewelery. But the FED's currently measured policy on rates and the still significant threats to possible trade conflicts between China and the US (or even with Germany and Japan), coupled with possible underestimated consequences of Brexit as well as the very large indebtedness of the largest economies (US, China, Japan, Europe) may favor a rebound of the yellow metal later on.

Latest developments

Gold rose by 13.1% in 2017, for the second year in a row (+ 8.6% in 2016), after three years of sharp decline between 2013 and 2015, which corresponds to the end of the European debt crisis.

Gold is down 2.6% since the beginning of the year, which is linked to the sharp rise in the US dollar and 10-year long US rates as gold does not issue dividends or coupons. However, in recent weeks, gold is almost the only asset class to be positively oriented. This is due to fears over the slowdown in global economic growth as well as the D.Trump attacks against the Fed that weaken the institution and potentially ultimately confidence in the dollar.

Gold could benefit of an "institutional crisis" in the US, which would see the US president put an end to the functions of Fed Chairman J. Powell, which would undermine the independence of the latter and ultimately  investor confidence.

Monthly data

The monthly chart shows an attempt to return to positive trend, with the crossing of the EMAs13 & 26 and the current reversal of major oscillators, which is particularly evident on the RSI. However the EMA100 remains flat, which encourages the wait-and-see attitude. The most likely is indeed that the gold continues to evolve around 1200/1300 pts without frank direction.

Weekly data

On the weekly chart, we can see that a medium term signal is about to be launched with the crossing of the EMAs13 & 26, the passing of the EMA100 and the passage of the zero line by the MACD. This triple signal, if validated, will confirm the positive momentum that has been triggering in recent weeks, with the long-term resistance of $ 1370 as the first target.


IAU is an ETF, listed in USD, which seeks to replicate prices of Gold.


Inception date 21/01/2005
Expense ratio 0,25%
Issuer iShares
Benchmark LBMA Gold Price
code/ticker IAU
ISIN US4682851053
Currency USD ($)
Exchange NYSE
Assets Under Management 11 265 M$
Dividend Non
Number of Holdings 0
Risk 3/5

Country Breakdown


Sector Breakdown

Gold  100%

Top Ten Holdings

Gold  100%