Gold ETF Flows: June 2023

Outflows result in H1 disinvestment



  • June saw outflows of US$3.7bn (-56t) from global gold ETFs, resulting in H1 net disinvestment (-US2.7$bn, -50t) 
  • Outflows were concentrated in Europe and North America, which collectively lost US$3.5bn (53t) in June
  • European funds led global H1 outflows while North America remained net positive despite recent losses.

June and H1 highlights

Global physically-backed gold ETFs1 experienced net outflows in June, calling a halt to their three-month inflow streak.2

Collective holdings of global gold ETFs fell by 56t to 3,422t while total assets under management (AUM) reached US$211bn (-4% m/m).3  The early June strong equity market performance in key markets likely shifted focus away from risk-off assets such as gold. And the majority of outflows occurred when the gold price dropped during the second half of the month amid hawkishness from major central banks in the face of obstinate inflationary pressure.4

June’s outflow caused global gold ETF demand during H1 2023 to turn negative at 50t, equivalent to fund outflows of US$2.7bn.

June regional highlights

All regions except Asia experienced outflows in June.

North American fund flows turned negative for the first time in four months, losing US$1.7bn in the month. Although the US Fed paused its aggressive rate-hiking path, a higher interest rate projection from the board and Powell’s recent hawkish statements pushed investor rate expectations steadily higher. As a result, the allure of gold ETFs – already dented by gold price weakness – waned. Meanwhile, the rally in US equities delivered a fourth consecutive monthly gain, further distracting investors from gold ETFs.5

Europe saw negative fund flows (-US$1.8bn) in June. Gold ETF demand was dented as the region’s central banks carried on their hawkish rate hikes in the face of looming inflationary pressure.6 It is worth noting that FX-hedged products in Switzerland and Germany7 made positive contributions to the region’s demand as local currencies fluctuated. UK funds led the region’s outflows, possibly due to the BoE surprising outsized 50bps rate hike.

Asia had marginal inflows of US$71mn (+1t) during the month. China was the key contributor. As economic uncertainties lingered, the local currency depreciated and the RMB gold price stabilised around the record high, gold ETFs became more appealing to Chinese investors. 

Fund flows in the Other region8 flipped negative (-US268mn, -4t), with the majority of outflows from Turkey where political uncertainties have lessened and the local interest rate has risen: the presidential runoff is now settled and the new central bank has U-turned from its easing path with a substantial 6.5% rate hike.9 

H1 regional highlights

North America and Asia inflows were outpaced by outflows elsewhere, chiefly from Europe.

Demand for North American funds remained positive at 20t (+US$1.5bn) in H1. In general, concerns over banking industry vulnerability and a potential global recession amid tighter monetary policy, as well as the 5% gold price increase, contributed to the region’s inflows.10 European funds accounted for the bulk of H1 global outflows with negative demand of 69t (-US$4.2bn). 

Incessant and rapidly rising interest rates drove outflows during most of the period, far outstripping the safe-haven inflows seen during March. Funds listed in the UK and Germany lost the most. 

H1 saw mild inflows into Asian funds. Japan inflows, likely attracted by the 14% rise in the local gold price, were partially offset by outflows from China, which were concentrated in early 2023. Meanwhile, the Other region experienced outflows of US$71mn, as negative demand in Australia and South Africa dwarfed Turkish inflows. 

Trading volumes slid in June 
Global gold market trading activities cooled in June, averaging US$152bn per day, a 13% decline from May. The gold price weakness during the month may have impacted investor enthusiasm for gold trading. While the OTC market remained relatively stable with a mild 1% m/m decrease, gold trading volumes at exchanges fell by 29%, chiefly due to cooling activities on  COMEX. Average daily volumes of global gold ETFs also fell 21% m/m. 

Total net longs of COMEX gold futures were 478t on 27 June, 11% lower than end-May. This matched the global trend  in ETF demand: the gold price pullback and the equity market rally of early June in key regions may have led many to adjust their gold futures positions. Following the third consecutive monthly fall, total net longs fell below their 2022 average of 527t.


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.

Individual flows

  • North America: while SPDR® Gold MiniShares® (+US$740mn, +12t) led inflows during the first half, iShares Gold Trust Micro lost the most (-US$267mn, -4t)
  • Europe: UK’s Gold Bullion Securities Ltd (-US$806mn, -13t) suffered the region’s biggest loss in H1 while Raiffeisen ETF - Solid Gold Reliable and Traceable +US$437mn, +7t) from Switzerland led inflows
  • Asia: Japan Physical Gold ETF (US$133mn, +2t) led the region’s inflows in H1, while China’s Bosera Gold Exchange Trade Open-End Fund ETF saw the largest H1 outflows of US$79mn (1.3t)
  • Other region: Istanbul Gold Exchange Traded Fund (+US$47.7mn, +0.8t) saw the largest inflow in H1 while Australia’s Global X Physical Gold lost US$81.5mn (1.5t).

Long-term trends

  • By the end of June collective holdings of global gold ETFs had fallen to their lowest since February, 10% lower y/y and 13% below October 2020’s record of 3,919t 
  • In terms of fund flows, global gold ETFs experienced the worst H1 since 2013 (-US$4.4bn)
  • And European funds saw their second-largest H1 outflow in history, the largest outflow was recorded in 2013 (-US$8.2bn)
  • Low-cost gold ETFs registered outflows of US$1.8bn (28t) in June. Y-t-d, net outflows into these funds now total US$352mn (8t), with European funds contributing the most.11


  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. 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 (AUM). We also monitor how these fund assets change through time by looking at two key metrics: demand and fund flows.

    • 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.

  4. For more, see: ETF methodology note

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

  6. Based on the LBMA Gold Price, data to 30 June 2023.

  7. 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.