Monthly XLSXReport PDFDaily XLSX

Published 6th June 2018

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Monthly flows

As of 31 May 2018
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

As of 31 May 2018
*May’s global holdings reflect a historical adjustment to appropriately account for the gold-only holdings in Sprott Physical Gold and Silver Trust.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World Gold Council

Regional flows

European funds have reversed early 2018 trends with two strong months of inflows

Global gold-backed ETF holdings added 15 tonnes(t) to 2,484t in May. Europe and Asia drove inflows as European funds have responded strongly in the past two months. North American fund flows reversed their early 2018 trend as they lost 2.3% of assets, likely a result of the volatile prices in the gold market which left gold lower by 60bps (in dollar terms) on the month.

Volatility and weakness in the gold market were largely driven by a stronger dollar (DXY +2.3% on the month). However, USD-hedged gold was higher by 1.4% on the month. This highlights our view that having some allocation to USD-hedged gold helps risk-adjusted returns by lowering price volatility in periods when currency prices fluctuate.

  • North American funds lost 30t (US$1.2bn, 2.3% of AUM)
  • European funds saw solid net inflows in May, growing by 26t (US$1.2bn, 2.8%)
  • Total fund holdings in Asia rose by 21t (US$862mn) growing assets by 20%
  • Funds in other regions lost 2t or 6% of assets

Top 10 flows

As of 31 May 2018
*Changes in tonnes for some of the funds are not directly measured but estimated. This may result in a change in the direction between tonnes and flows when these are small due to variations in FX between the timing of the fund's NAV and gold price benchmark.
**May’s global holdings reflect a historical adjustment to appropriately account for the gold-only holdings in Sprott Physical Gold and Silver Trust.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World Gold Council

Bottom 10 flows

As of 31 May 2018
*Changes in tonnes for some of the funds are not directly measured but estimated. This may result in a change in the direction between tonnes and flows when these are small due to variations in FX between the timing of the fund's NAV and gold price benchmark.
**May’s global holdings reflect a historical adjustment to appropriately account for the gold-only holdings in Sprott Physical Gold and Silver Trust.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World gold Council

Individual flows

Bosera Gold ETF continued to add assets in May growing 83% on the month

  • SDPR® Gold Shares was the main driver of US and North American outflows losing 24t (US$1bn, 2.7%), while iShares Gold Trust also lost 2t (US$100mn, 80bp)
  • Inflows in Europe were once again led by Xtrackers Physical Gold (23t, 74%) in Germany and Invesco Physical Gold (4t, 3.5%) in the UK
  • Bosera Gold ETF, in China, continues to grow at a rapid pace adding 20t (US$822mn, 83%) driven by a combination of opportunistic buying and transfers from other non-listed Bosera funds. Huaan Yifu also added 1t (US$35mn, 5%)

Year-to-date trends

Global gold-back ETF holdings up 116t in 2018

  • European inflows have caught North American inflows on the year, while Asian funds have grown 20%, led by Bosera Gold ETF which has grown 114%
  • Gold price volatility has been inversely correlated with North American flows
  • After strong early-year performance, gold has given back much of its gains, remaining largely flat on the year, despite the USD rallying over 4% in the second quarter

Fund flows

As of 31 May 2018
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

Assets Under Management

As of 31 May 2018
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

Want to learn more about gold-backed ETFs?

This primer gives an overview of gold-backed ETFs, explaining what they are and how they differ from other (gold and non-gold) investment products.

Notes, definitions and methodology

Notes

Gold ETFs account for a significant part of the gold market, with institutional and individual investors using them to implement many of their investment strategies. The data on this page tracks physical gold held by ETFs and similar products. Most funds included in this list are fully backed by physical gold. While a few funds allow other holdings such as cash or derivatives, we only monitor those investing at least 90% through physical gold and appropriately adjust their reported assets to estimate physical holdings only. Similarly, the data only estimates the corresponding gold holdings of ETFs that include other precious metals. A complete list of the gold-backed ETFs we track is included in the Monthly XLSX and Daily CSV files above.

Definitions

Flows represent actual creations or redemptions of shares in an open-ended ETF, or changes to the physical gold holdings that back shares of an ETF or similar product at any given time. When measured in tonnes, ETF flows are equivalent to the demand metrics reported in Gold Demand Trends on a quarterly basis. ETF flows in US dollars represent the monetary value of gold demand for a given period and consider daily fluctuations in the price of gold.

Holdings correspond to the total assets under management (AUM) of gold-backed ETFs measured in either tonnes or US dollars. To calculate gold holdings in tonnes, other than through direct reporting, we divide the US dollar value of their AUM by the LBMA Gold Price per tonne – where one tonne is equivalent to 32,151 Troy ounces.

Methodology

Download (pdf)

The file above describes in detail the methodology used to compute gold-backed ETF holdings and flows.

Disclaimer

This information is provided solely for general information and educational purposes. It is not, and should not be construed as, an offer to buy or sell, or as a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, gold, any gold related products or any other products, securities or investments. It does not, and should not be construed as acting to, sponsor, advocate, endorse or promote gold, any gold related products or any other products, securities or investments.

This information does not purport to make any recommendations or provide any investment or other advice with respect to the purchase, sale or other disposition of gold, any gold related products or any other products, securities or investments, including without limitation, any advice to the effect that any gold related transaction is appropriate for any investment objective or financial situation of a prospective investor. A decision to invest in gold, any gold related products or any other products, securities or investments should not be made in reliance on any of this information. Before making any investment decision, prospective investors should seek advice from their financial advisers, take into account their individual financial needs and circumstances and carefully consider the risks associated with such investment decision.

While the accuracy of any information communicated herewith has been checked, neither the World Gold Council nor any of its affiliates can guarantee such accuracy. In no event will the World Gold Council or any of its affiliates be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance on such information or for any consequential, special, punitive, incidental, indirect or similar damages arising from, related to or connected with such information, even if notified of the possibility of such damages.