Gold ETFs and similar*

Data XLSXReport PDF

Published 7th August 2018

*A detailed explanation can be found in the notes section at the bottom of this page.

Gold mid-year outlook 2018

In our outlook for second half of 2018, we have identified three key macro trends that will influence gold’s behaviour. Read more.

Monthly flows


Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

Gold-backed ETFs outflows decelerated in July

Holdings in global gold-backed ETFs and similar products fell by 39t to 2,394t in July, pushing assets under management (AUM) in US dollars down by 4% to US$94bn from US$98bn in June. Gold price performance was a large contributor to outflows as it fell over 2% in US dollar terms.

All regions experienced outflows in July, while decelerating on a global basis relative to June. ETF outflows were dominated by North American funds, losing US$984mn. Asia experienced the largest outflows on a percentage basis (6.2%), while Europe reversed the recent trend of inflows, losing 8.0t (US$302mn).

COMEX net long futures are the lowest in three years highlighting bearish sentiment in the market. A very low net long level, however, has historically preceded rallies in the price of gold.


‘Global Inflows’ refers to the sum of changes of all funds that saw a net increase in ounces held over a given period (eg, month, quarter, etc.). Conversely, ‘global outflows’ aggregates changes from funds that saw ounces decline over the same period. See further notes and definitions at the bottom of this page.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World Gold Council

Regional flows

Asia lost 6% of assets in July, driven by China

  • North American funds saw outflows of 25.0t (US$984mn, 2.1% AUM)
  • Holdings in European funds fell by 8.0t (US$302mn, 0.8%)
  • Funds listed in Asia decreased by 5.1t (US$220mn, 6.2%), while other regions also saw a reduction in holdings of 0.6t (US$24mn, 1.8%) 

Top 10 flows


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.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World Gold Council

Bottom 10 flows


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.
Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; World gold Council

Individual flows

SDPR® Gold Shares and iShares Gold Trust continue to lead declines in North America and globally

  • SDPR® Gold Shares and iShares Gold Trust led the declines in North America, losing 19t (US$752mn, 2.3%) and 6.4t (US$255mn, 2.4%) respectively. In Europe, Source Physical lost 14.8t (US$592mn, 12%)
  • European inflows were driven by iShares Physical Gold, which added 18t (US$726mn, 24%). In North America, SPDR® Gold MiniShares℠ grew the most on a percentage basis globally (226%), adding $62mn in assets.
  • Chinese-listed Bosera Gold ETF saw a second month of outflows losing 5.6t (US$223mn, 18%)

Year-to-date flows

European funds have added US$2.2bn in 2018 while North American holdings are down

  • European funds lead the way, adding US$2.2bn (5.3% AUM) to their holdings
  • Asian funds have seen an impressive percentage increase, growing by 8% y-t-d, but have given up gains over the past two months
  • North American flows have been negative for three straight months, with US$1.2bn (2.4% AUM) coming out on the year
  • A stronger dollar in Q2 and a declining gold price have weighed on ETF holdings, and global AUM is only slightly higher on the year 22t (US$ 1.0bn, 1.1% AUM)

Fund flows


Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

Assets Under Management


Source: Bloomberg; Company Filings; ICE Benchmark Administration; World Gold Council

Notes, definitions and methodology

Notes

Gold-backed ETFs and similar products 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 gold held in physical form by open-ended ETFs and other products such as close-end funds, and mutual funds. 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 For funds that include physical holdings of multiple precious metals, the data estimates only the corresponding gold holdings contained within them. A complete list of the gold-backed ETFs and similar products we track is included in the Data XLSX download above.

Definitions

Flows represent net creations or redemptions of shares of open-ended ETFs, or changes to the physical gold holdings that back shares of closed-end funds or similar products over a given period. ETF flows in tonnes measure demand for gold during a given period and generate the quarterly demand estimates reported in Gold Demand Trends. ETF flows in US dollars estimate the monetary value of gold demand for a given period, taking into account daily fluctuations in the price of gold.

Holdings correspond to the total assets under management (AUM) of gold-backed ETFs and similar products, measured in either tonnes or US dollars. Where tonnage holdings are not directly reported, we calculate these by dividing the US dollar value of AUM by the LBMA Gold Price per tonne – where one tonne is equivalent to 32,150.7466 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.