Gold ETF Flows: April 2023

Recession concerns sustain gold ETF inflows in April



  • Global gold ETFs continued to see positive demand in April: net inflows totalled US$824mn while holdings increased 15t
  • North American funds led global inflows, adding nearly US$1bn 
  • Fund flows in Europe turned negative again in the month (-US$223mn), led by Germany 

April highlights

Continued gold price strength sustained positive flows into physically-backed gold ETFs1 , albeit at a slower pace than March. Declining yields and a sliding dollar pushed April’s average gold price to the highest in a year. Having reached its second record high of US$2,048/oz on 13 April, gold managed to firm its footing around US$2,000/oz, an important psychological threshold.2  The gold price ended April with a modest gain of 0.1%, much softer than March (+9%) – a possible explanation for slower inflows during the month.3   

Following two consecutive monthly inflows, global gold ETF total assets under management (AUM) rose 1% to US$221bn by the end of April. Gold holdings rose 15t to 3,459t.4   However, gold ETF demand during the first four months of 2023 remained negative at -13t, a net outflow of US$654mn, due to heavy European outflows in the first two months of the year.

Regional highlights

All regions saw inflows except for Europe.

North American funds continued to attract inflows in April (+US$984mn, +15t), with most funds experiencing inflows. Weaker-than-expected economic data worsened investors’ recession fears, supressing Treasury yields and lifting safe-haven demand for gold. The positive gold price performance during the month may have also contributed. Net inflows into North American funds totalled US$1.8bn y-t-d, significantly outpacing other regions. 

Gold ETF flows in Europe turned negative again in April (-US$223mn, -0.7t). With the region’s core inflation remaining stubbornly high and financial markets shaking from banking sector woes, investors anticipate further rate hikes from local central banks, and this may have lessened their interest in gold ETFs. The difference between fund flows and the tonnage demand change mainly came from currency-hedged products in the region amid local currency fluctuation.5  Y-t-d, European funds lost US$2.6bn, accounting for the majority of global outflows. UK and Germany funds lost the most.

Funds listed in Asia saw modest inflows (+US$14mn, +0.1t). Outflows from Chinese funds were offset by Japanese and Indian inflows. Overall, Asian funds experienced a minor outflow of US$35mn during the first four months of 2023, mainly driven by Chinese funds. 

The Other region6 registered a US$49mn (+1t) inflow in the month, which was entirely contributed by Turkey. Political uncertainties, continued currency weakness and elevated inflation sustained Turkish investors’ interest in gold ETFs. Y-t-d, the Other region accumulated net inflows of US$173mn, again due primarily to Turkey.

Trading volumes moderated in April

Global gold market daily trading volumes reduced to US$170bn in April, 7% lower m-o-m. Nonetheless, they remained 29% above the 2022 average of US$132bn. Physical gold markets stayed active: the average daily volume of the OTC market rose by 4%. However, trading activities of exchange-traded derivatives and gold ETFs declined by 22% and 4% m-o-m, respectively. 

COMEX gold futures net longs ended April with a total of 653t, a 5% rise compared to the end-March level and the highest in a year on a monthly basis. After reaching a 49-week peak during the first week of April amid gold’s breach of US$2,000/oz, net longs moderated during the rest of the month as investors were cautious of gold’s future moves. 


Gold ETF flows

Data as of

Demand captures changes in global/regional gold holdings; fund flows capture the net amount of money (in USD) that comes in or out of gold ETFs globally/regionally. See methodology note.

Regional flows

  • North American funds saw inflows (positive demand) of US$984mn (+15t, +0.9%)
  • Outflows from European funds (negative demand) were US$223mn (-0.7t, -0.1%)
  • Asian funds saw inflows of US$14mn (+0.1t, +0.1%)
  • The Other region funds captured inflows of US$49mn (+0.8t, +1%).

Individual flows

  • In North America, iShares Gold Trust (+US$575mn, +9t) and SPDR® Gold MiniShares Trust (+US$167mn, +3t) led inflows while SPDR® Gold Shares (-US$100mn, -2t) saw the largest outflow
  • In Europe, while Xtrackers Physical Gold Euro Hedged ETC (-US309mn, -4t) in Germany saw the largest loss, inflows into UK’s Invesco Physical Gold ETCs of US$196mn (+3t) topped others 
  • In Asia, the Nippon India ETF Gold BeES saw the largest inflow by attracting US$28mn (+0.4t); meanwhile, China’s Bosera Gold Exchange Trade Open-End Fund ETF (-US$18mn, -0.3t) led outflows 
  • In the Other region, the Istanbul Gold Exchange Traded Fund (+US$67mn, +1t) continued to lead inflows.

Long-term trends

  • Amid inflows over recent months and a rising gold price, total AUM of global gold ETFs rose to the highest since June 2022, 8% shy of the March 2022 record high of US$241bn 
  • European funds’ y-t-d net outflows of US$2.6bn were the largest since 2013 
  • Low-cost gold ETFs also witnessed positive demand in April, contributed by both US and European funds.7 



  1. We define gold ETFs as regulated securities that hold gold in physical form. These include open-ended funds traded on regulated exchanges and other regulated products such as closed-end funds and mutual funds. A complete list is included on the gold ETF section of

  2. Based on the LBMA Gold Price PM in US dollars.

  3. Based on the LBMA Gold Price PM in US dollars.

  4. We track gold ETF assets in two ways: the quantity of gold they hold, generally measured in tonnes, and the equivalent value of those holdings in US dollars 

    • Gold ETF demand is the change in gold holdings during a given period. We use this metric to calculate the quarterly demand estimates reported in Gold Demand Trends.
    • Fund flows represent the amount of money – reported in US dollars – that investors have put into (or retrieved from) a fund during a given period.

    For more details, see our ETF methodology note.


  5. The Other region includes Australia, South Africa, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

  6. Low-cost gold-backed ETFs are defined by the World Gold Council as exchange-traded open-ended funds listed in the US and Europe, backed by physical gold, with annual management fees and other expenses like FX costs of 20bps or less.