Gold ETF Flows: November 2023

Outflows narrowed significantly in November



  • Global gold ETFs outflows slowed significantly in November supported by net inflows into North American funds 
  • Geopolitical risk and investor positioning helped push gold higher in the month, contributing to the change in trend in the US
  • So far in 2023, collective holdings of global gold ETFs are down by 7%, while total assets under management (AUM) saw a 5% increase amid a higher gold price.

November highlights

Global physically backed gold ETFs1 saw a small outflow of US$920mn in the month, significantly narrower than the previous month.2 Holdings lowered to 3,236t, a 9t decline in November, while total AUM rose by 2% to US$212bn, supported by a meaningful 2% rise in the gold price.3

Regional highlights

North American funds attracted net inflows of US$659mn in November, putting a stop to the region’s five-month losing streak. During the month, the US Fed kept rates unchanged for the second consecutive meeting, bringing forward investors’ expectations for the tightening cycle ending. Such anticipation was intensified by decelerations in inflation and the cooling job market, weighing further on US Treasury yields and the dollar. However, most of the support for both the price and ETF flows came from heightened geopolitical risk early in the month and investor positioning. The gold price rally ahead of the expiry date of major gold ETF options on 17 November also brought notable inflows.4

Contrastingly, Europe saw outflows for the sixth consecutive month, shedding nearly US$2bn in November. With the region’s yields remaining at their decade highs, opportunity costs continued to weigh on European investors’ appetite for gold ETFs.5 Meanwhile, the strengthening local currencies – which translated to weaker local gold price performances relative to their USD peer – also suppressed investors’ interests. On the bright side, FX-hedged products – mainly from Switzerland – brought inflows, partially offsetting November’s losses. Funds listed in Germany saw the region’s largest outflows in the month.

Asian funds continued to cap inflows (+US$47mn) in November, albeit only mildly. Indian and Japanese inflows outweighed outflows from China. The Other region saw subtle outflows (-US$21mn), mostly from Australian and South African funds.6

Year-to-date highlights

November pushed y-t-d outflows from global gold ETFs towards US$14bn, with European funds contributing the most. North America also saw heavy losses, while Asia remains the only region experiencing inflows. 

In North America, surging Treasury yields between June and October drove outflows of (-US$9bn) during that period, which outweighed inflows of US$4bn during the rest of the year (+US$4bn). And during the past 11 months, European funds’ outflows piled up to US$9bn, the worst of all regions, also driven by rising interest rates in Europe, which diverted investors’ attention away from gold. Germany and the UK led the region’s y-t-d outflows

Asia remains the only region experiencing y-t-d inflows (+US$1bn), thanks to China, Japan and India. Accumulated outflows from the Other region reached -US$103mn y-t-d: inflows into Turkey were outweighed by outflows elsewhere. 

Gold future net longs at the COMEX rose further

Global gold market trading volumes averaged US$174bn per day, an increase of 3% m/m. While trading activity of gold ETFs dropped significantly (-26%), the OTC market was barely changed (0%) and volumes of other exchange-traded products rose by 10% - contributed mainly by COMEX.

Net long positioning on COMEX rose further, totalling 658t at the end of November, a 23% increase m/m and 25% above the 2022 average (527t). And money manager net longs also surged, rising by 36% m/m to 449t, reflecting investors’ positive sentiment amid the gold price rally during the month.


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.

Long-term trends

  • So far in 2023, collective holdings of global gold ETFs lost 235t to 3,236t, 17% lower than the all-time month-end high recorded in October 2020 (3,916t)
  • By the end of November, European funds have lost US$9bn so far in 2023, the region’s second worst y-t-d performance in history
  • In November, low-cost gold ETFs registered their sixth consecutive monthly outflow, collectively shedding US$1bn (15t).7
  • Y-t-d outflows across global low-cost funds piled up to US$5bn (90t). During the period, low-cost funds in North America saw inflows of US$175mn (2t), while Europe accumulated net outflows of US$6bn (91t).


  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. 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.

  3. Based on the LBMA Gold Price PM.

  4. Options expiry: We refer to regular monthly expiration of ETF options on the third Friday of each month, which generally have the most significant open interest. When gold prices rally into a major options expiration, it often elicits additional call options to be exercised creating primary activity in the ETFs.

  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 such as FX costs of 20bps or less.