Weak USD Gives Physical Gold, Silver ETFs a Kick

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"Gold surged past $1,400/oz. thanks to a downtrending dollar."

The blizzard that socked the East Coast certainly hasn't socked gold prices or the ETFs that track them. In fact, they're bucking the trend.

It's been a big day for the yellow metal, which surged past $1,400 an ounce thanks to a downtrending dollar. The dollar's weakness was the result of the government selling $35 billion worth of two-year bonds. Gold didn't even budge when China announced interest rate hikes, so many believe that the news had already been factored in, says Yahoo Finance.

Silver, considered a leveraged play on gold because its price rises faster, is also getting a kick in the pants from the move and has hit a fresh 30-year high, says Ebeling Heffernan. ETFS Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SIVR) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca:SLV) are both up nearly 3.5% today.

Owning physical gold has never been easier, as ETFs that own gold are quite common and simple to use. According to The Economic Times, as risks become bigger in the next year within markets, physical gold investment may become even more popular.

Gold's role in a portfolio is often a complimentary one to equities. It's also a great way to help mitigate risk in times of market turbulence, a trend many investors are no strangers to over the last few years.

The demand for gold ETFs has risen by 414% year-on-year and their assets have surged 182% in the past one year (ending September 2010). Retail gold ETF assets have risen by 400% between March 2009 and Sept 2010. There are three ways to get your physical gold ETF exposure: SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares COMEX Gold Trust (NYSEArca:IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca:SGOL).

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