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ETF gold holdings rise to record high during April

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(Kitco News) - Global exchange-traded funds added another 170 metric tons of gold to their holdings in April, taking the total to a new all-time high of 3,355 tons, the World Gold Council reported Thursday.

Assets under management also reached a new record high of $184 billion, the WGC said. This was helped not only by continued inflows but because gold prices in U.S. dollar terms moved higher by 5.8%.

The continued rise in the amount of gold held by ETFs last month comes after the WGC’s recent report on demand trends showed that ETF holdings rose by 298 tons during the first quarter, which was up more than 300% from the same period last year.

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 having to take on costs such as storage and assaying.

“Inflows have been strong and consistent in recent months, but not unprecedented,” the WGC said. “Rolling 12-month inflows of 879t just surpassed those of 2009 and 2016, while rolling six-month inflows are less than two-thirds of the 457t of inflows in the comparable time periods of 2009 and 2016.”

During April, North America was the continent with the most inflows, with these ETFs adding 144 tons. Other increases included Europe, 20 tons; Asia, 2.9 tons; and other regions, 3.3 tons.

U.S.-based SPDR Gold Shares was the ETF with the most inflows, adding 89.5 tons, while iShares Gold Trust added 31.2 tons, the WGC said.

European inflows were led by two U.K.-based funds. Invesco Physical Gold added 13.9 tons and iShares Physical added 7.2 tons, the WGC said. Switzerland was the only country with net outflows during the month as UBS ETF Gold shed 15.3 tons and Pictet CH Physical lost 4.2 tons, the WGC said.

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