NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold's laggard performance has been one of the more interesting stories to watch in 2012. After last year's breakout performance, easing macroeconomic concerns and coyness on the part of the Federal Reserve regarding new rounds of quantitative easing have helped to knock the highly sought-after yellow metal from its upward path.For evidence of this disappointing showing, investors need only compare the performance of a bullion-backed gold fund like the iShares Gold Trust (IAU) to that of a product linked to a fellow member of the precious metals arena, like silver or platinum. Since the start of the year, IAU has risen approximately 5%. The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) and the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (PPLT), meanwhile, have enjoyed gains of more than double this magnitude.
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