Best Gold Trading Strategies

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Contributor, Benzinga
August 25, 2023

Gold trading offers interesting opportunities for traders who want to profit from price movements. However, having robust gold trading strategies is key. Without educated strategies behind your decisions, gold trading becomes a major risk.

This article explores some of the techniques used by veteran gold traders.

What is Gold Trading?

Gold trading is an umbrella term encompassing several methods of trading gold.

The most straightforward method is purchasing physical gold bullion in the form of coins or bars. This method allows you to directly own gold.

However, owning physical gold comes with added considerations. For example, you must find and pay for secure storage. Physical gold ownership also doesn’t provide exposure to price changes or interest payouts.

One way to get into gold trading without owning physical gold is to trade stocks of gold mining companies. This method offers indirect exposure to gold prices since the stocks tend to move based on those prices.

Investing in stocks comes with added risks, such as fluctuating company performance and mergers.

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that track gold prices are another method of gold trading. Gold ETFs like GLD offer direct exposure to gold price changes.

Gold futures contracts are another trading option. These allow you to speculate on gold prices without owning the physical asset. With gold futures, you profit or lose based on gold price movements.

Each of these methods carries its own set of risks, costs and rewards. The approach you choose depends on your goals and risk tolerance as a trader.

What Factors Move Gold Prices?

Gold market prices fluctuate every day. At the most basic level, the principles of market supply and demand affect pricing, just as they affect any commodity. Constrained gold production from mining or increased demand from industries or investors can also push prices higher.

On the supply side, gold mining costs and reserve scarcity are key factors. Demand for gold for industrial applications like electronics, jewelry, dentistry and medical devices also affects the markets and, therefore, gold prices.

Gold has long been considered a safe haven asset, as investors tend to flock to it in times of economic uncertainty. For this reason, macroeconomic forces can also move gold prices. During recessions, stock market crashes or periods of slowing growth, gold stands out as a hedge.

Other factors that influence the price of gold include:

  • Interest rate moves
  • Currency fluctuations
  • Supply chain issues
  • Geopolitics
  • Inflation

It’s important for traders to understand gold’s sensitivity to these various dynamics before moving forward with trading gold.

Best Gold Trading Strategies

Once you understand the factors that influence the price of gold, it’s time to look at the trading strategies seasoned traders use to take advantage of gold price moves.

Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is a tool that stock analysts use to determine whether stocks are overvalued or undervalued by the market. It can help explain gold price drivers like supply and demand to determine future directions.

Traders analyze factors like:

  • Mining output
  • Central bank reserves
  • Industrial and jewelry demand
  • Inflation metrics
  • GDP growth
  • Interest rates
  • Currencies

By studying these aspects using fundamental analysis, you may be able to gauge whether gold might be over- or undervalued. For example, sudden demand from the jewelry sector in conjunction with falling mine production may signal rising prices ahead.

With fundamental analysis, traders can act before the markets move and fundamentals are factored in.

Technical Analysis

Technical analysis is a method that looks at historical price charts and trends to predict future movements. Unlike fundamental analysis, technical analysis relies solely on price action and technical indicators like moving averages, which are stock indicators used to create regularly updated average prices.

Technical analysis could help you capitalize on short-term price changes. Some investors view technical analysis as overly simplistic; nonetheless, it remains a key strategy used over and over by traders.

Moving Average Crossover

Moving average crossovers are a popular technical strategy traders use to generate trade signals.

A simple explanation of the moving average crossover system uses two time periods for averages (although more complex systems can use multiple). For example, a trader may use 50-day and 200-day moving averages. When the 50-day crosses above the 200-day, there may be an upward price trend, presenting a buy opportunity.

When the 50-day crosses below the 200-day, it may signal downward momentum and be an indicator to sell.

Moving average strategies help traders filter out other market noise so they can identify bigger patterns.

Seasonality Trading

Gold prices are also subject to recurring seasonal patterns that traders can exploit. For example, gold tends to rise before major cultural holidays, like Diwali and the Chinese New Year, when buying gold is popular. Gold also tends to dip at the beginning of the fall, before the Indian wedding season spikes demand.

If you analyze multiyear pricing trends, you’ll find it easy to spot these seasonal patterns. Traders can use these seasonal patterns to take advantageous positions, such as by buying ahead of a predictable demand surge.

Note that seasonal trends evolve over time, so price moves aren’t guaranteed. For maximized efficacy, combine seasonality with other strategies.

Inverse Gold Prices and U.S. Treasury Rates

Historically, gold prices have moved inverse to the U.S. dollar and Treasury yields, which refer to the return on investment on the U.S. government’s debt obligations. When Treasury yields go up, gold futures often go down since higher yields make gold less appealing.

When the dollar gets stronger, gold tends to get weaker. Similarly, when the dollar gets weaker, gold tends to get stronger. Traders could make money from these inverse relationships.

By watching policy, rates and dollar indexes — these elements all affect Treasury yields — traders try to predict whether gold might move opposite bonds and the dollar. This strategy isn’t without risk since sometimes this relationship breaks down.

Forex vs. Gold Trading

Forex and gold trading are distinct markets, but they share similarities you could benefit from.

Forex trading capitalizes on currency appreciation by trading currency. For example, suppose that a trader assumes, based on their strategies, that the euro will increase in value compared to the U.S. dollar. They decide to speculate on the EUR/USD currency pair, one of the most actively traded currencies globally.

The trader executes a forex trade to sell EUR and buy USD, believing that the EUR/USD exchange rate will decline. If the EUR/USD rate drops from 1.2000 to 1.1800 over the next month, the trader could make a wise move — sell the euros back into dollars and net a profit from the favorable exchange rate move.

Like major currency pairs, gold offers volatility and liquidity for short-term trades. When gold trading, investors could potentially profit from rising or falling prices, just like with forex trading.

The Golden Rules of Gold Trading

The strategies above show how diverse techniques can help gold traders profit during either bull or bear markets. While it can be risky, gold’s volatility also provides opportunity.

By combining rigorous analysis with robust risk management, gold trading has the potential to yield impressive returns while providing portfolio diversification.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do trading strategies work?


When executed properly with robust risk management, gold trading strategies have the potential to be profitable. Of course, no strategy is foolproof, and each carries risks.



Is gold traded on the stock market?


Gold itself is not directly traded on the stock exchanges, but there are ways to trade gold exposure using the stock market. Examples include gold mining stocks or gold ETFs, which track the prices of gold.



Is gold trading highly profitable?


Gold trading can present a good potential for profit because of gold’s volatility. However, like any trading, results are unpredictable.