VANCOUVER (miningweekly.com) – North America has added the most physical gold holdings that back shares of an exchange traded fund (ETF) of all the regions, the World Gold Council (WGC) revealed in its October ‘Gold ETF holdings update’, published on Wednesday.
During the month of September, North America led inflows for the second month in a row, as investors added 36 t, or $2.5-billion, of gold, through funds listed in the region, reflecting an increase in assets under management (AUM) of 4.7%.
The WGC advised that there were outflows in Europe worth 12 t, or $229-million, over the month for the first time since July. Asia funds lost 1.7 t, or $57-million, with most of the region’s gold-backed funds losing assets. ETFs in other regions experienced minimal inflows.
The combined liquidity of gold ETFs rose sharply month-over-month to $1.51-billion/d, an increase of 20% compared with the year-to-date average liquidity of $1.26-billion/d.
SPDR Gold Shares led flows in September, accounting for 60% of gross global inflows, while iShares Gold Trust added 5.2% to its AUM.
In North America, SPDR Gold Shares led inflows with 28 t, adding $2.04-billion in assets, followed by iShares Gold Trust with 8.5 t, or $476.1-million.
European outflows were driven by db Physical Euro Hedged ETC, in Germany, which lost 8.8 t, or $3.1-million, as the euro weakened 80 basis points against the dollar over the month. Gold Bullion Securities, listed in London, lost 8 t, or $312-million. On the positive side, iShares Physical Gold, also listed in London, gained 8.2 t, or $370-million.
Asian outflows were led by Chinese funds. Huaan Yifu Gold ETF lost 800 kg, or $26.4-million, while E Fund Gold Tradable Open-end Securities Investment Fund lost 8.4% of assets. Both funds also led Asian outflows in August.
North American gold-backed funds are catching European funds in global growth in 2017, but still trail 38% to 57%, the WGC stated.
Global gold-backed ETFs collectively hold 2 357 t, as funds added 191.9 t of gold, equivalent to $7.5-billion so far, this year. This represents an increase of 7.7% of global AUM from December 2016.
Despite inflows in North America, European funds continue to lead inflows so far this year, accounting for nearly 56% of all inflows at 120 t, or $4.6-billion. North American inflows are at 81 t, or $3.4-billion for the year, while Asia saw outflows of 12 t, or $485-million, during the year. Other region inflows are 2.1 t, or $70.2-million.
Inflows into SPDR Gold Shares and iShares Gold Trust overtook Germany-based ETFs Xetra-Gold and db Physical Euro Hedged ETC year-to-date. The US-listed funds accumulated a combined 81.1 t, or 38% of the gross global inflows, while the German-listed funds accounted for 64.1 t, or 30% of the gross global inflows, with Xetra-Gold alone accumulating 53 t, or $2.1-billion year-to-date – a 47% increase over the period, the WGC advised.