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Global ETF Gold Holdings Decline Modestly In May

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(Kitco News) - Holdings of gold by global exchange-traded funds fell slightly in May, declining 2.2 tonnes to 2,421 tonnes, the World Gold Council reported Thursday.

However, as the price of gold rose, global gold ETF assets under management rose 1% to $101 billion, the World Gold Council said.

Most gold 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.

For the year through the end of May, global ETF holdings declined 19 tonnes, hurt by heavy outflows in February, April and early May. However, volatility in other markets has led to flight-to-quality flows back into gold-backed ETFs in recent weeks, the WGC said.

Holdings in European ETFs rose by 15.9 tonnes in May, while North American funds had outflows of 13.7 tonnes. Funds listed in Asia decreased by 4.1 tonnes, and those from other regions had outflows of 0.5 tonne.

In North America, holdings in iShares Gold Trust lost fell 12.7 tonnes, while those in SPDR Gold Shares fell 3.5 tonnes. Meanwhile, U.K.-based Invesco Physical Gold continued to add to holdings with 4.6 tonnes. This fund has the largest growth globally this year, adding 16.9 tonnes, the WGC said.

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