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ETF Gold Holdings Hit Highest Level Since 2013 In January: WGC

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Holdings of gold by global exchange-traded funds and similar products as of the end of January stood at their highest level since 2013, the World Gold Council reported Wednesday.

ETF holdings increased for the fourth straight month, this time by 71.9 tonnes to 2,512.8 tonnes. Holdings have increased by around 185 tonnes over those four months, reversing a decline in the third quarter of 2018.

Monthly flows

Data as of 31 January, 2019
Sources: Bloomberg, Company Filings, ICE Benchmark Administration, Shanghai Gold Exchange, World Gold Council

“Notably, total holdings have not been this high since March 2013, when the price of gold was 22% higher,” the World Gold Council said. “Global gold-backed ETF holdings have grown 6% over the past two months, driven by market uncertainty and a shift in sentiment that drove the price of gold 3.5% higher in January alone.”

The 71.9 tonnes of inflows last month exceeded the inflow of 68.9 tonnes for all of 2018, as listed in the recent quarterly demand trends report from the World Gold Council. Global assets under management in the ETFs rose by 6% to $107 billion last month, the World Gold Council said Wednesday.

Most ETFs trade like a stock but track the price of the commodity, with metal put into storage to back the shares. This gives investors exposure to gold prices without undertaking certain expenses such as storage and assaying of physical metal.

North American-based ETFs posted inflows of 53 tonnes last month, while those in Europe rose by 20.2 tonnes, the report said.

Among individual ETFs, SPDR Gold Shares led global inflows with 36.2 tonnes of new holdings, followed by iShares Gold Trust with 12.3 tonnes. Low-cost gold-backed ETFs in the U.S. continued to add assets, led by Graniteshares Gold Trust, 2.9 tonnes; and SPDR Gold MiniShares, 2.5 tonnes. In Europe, inflows were led by ETFs Physical Gold, 9.7 tonnes; and Xetra, 8.2 tonnes.

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