Gold ETF Flows: February 2024

Outflows sustained into February



  • Global gold ETFs collectively saw another outflow in February, extending their losing streak to nine months; North America led outflows, while Asia was the only region that captured inflows 
  • Total AUM fell by 1.8% in February, to US$206bn. Collective holdings ended the month at 3,126t, a 49t loss 
  • So far in 2024, outflows from global gold ETFs have piled up to US$5.7bn. North America (-US$4.7bn) and Europe (-US$1.4bn) bore the brunt of the loss. 

February in review

Outflows from global physically backed gold ETFs 1 continued for the ninth consecutive month, shedding US$2.9bn in February.2  Combined with a 0.3% gold price fall, total assets under management (AUM) fell to US$206bn (-1.8% m/m), the lowest since last September.3 In turn, collective holdings of global gold ETFs lost 49t to 3,126t, 20% lower than their month-end record of 3,915t in October 2020. The last time global gold ETFs experienced a similar decline was between May 2022 and February 2023 when outflows lasted for ten months. Nonetheless, the two recent rounds of sustained outflows had little negative impact on the gold price performance, which was supported by resilient consumer demand and blistering central bank purchases.

North American funds lost the most while outflows from Europe narrowed. In contrast, Asia has now seen net inflows for 12 consecutive months and other regions have seen only limited loss. 

February regional overview

North American funds have experienced outflows for two consecutive months, shedding US$2.4bn in February. The still-strong labour market, hotter-than-expected inflation prints, the Fed’s meeting minutes as well as recent speeches by Fed officials continued to push forward investor expectations of a rate cut. Consequently, a sharp rebound in the 10-year Treasury yield alongside a stronger dollar weighed on the gold price and reduced gold ETF holdings in the region. Sustained strength in US equities kept diverting investor attention, further denting demand for gold. 

During the first two months of 2024, North American funds lost US$4.7bn, the second worst start to a year ever, ranking only after 2013 (-US$5bn). Following February’s decline, their collective holdings fell to the lowest in four years.

Europe experienced outflows (-US$719mn) for the ninth straight month in February. Overall, similar to North America, rebounding government bond yields, as investors adjusted their bets on a monetary policy pivot by the ECB, weak gold price performances in local currencies, and continued rallies in regional stocks drove down local investor interest in gold ETFs. 

But there is a silver lining: February’s loss was the smallest since October 2023. The contraction in recent outflows was mainly driven by Germany, where worsening economic conditions and other uncertainties may be turning the bearish tide towards gold.4 

European funds have lost US$1.5bn so far in 2024, dragging their total AUM to a five-month low. Meanwhile, their holdings dropped to the lowest since February 2020. UK and Germany led the region’s y-t-d outflows.

Asia recorded its twelfth consecutive monthly inflow in February, attracting US$200mn. China accounted for the bulk of Asian inflows as investor interest in gold persisted amid the weakening local currency and a stable RMB gold price. Over the past 12 months, inflows into Asian funds add up to US$2bn, a stunning 41% rise in total AUM. Fund flows in the Other region were limited, losing US$24mn during the month, mainly from Turkey.

Low-cost gold ETFs around the world continued to witness outflows in February (-US$219mn), the ninth consecutive monthly loss. Europe (-US$168mn) suffered the biggest loss while the US$50mn outflow from North America narrowed significantly compared to January’s US$243mn.5 So far in 2024, low-cost funds have lost US$426mn, a 1% fall in total AUM (US$55bn). Meanwhile, their collective holdings fell by 4t to 828t, the lowest since April 2021.


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.

Gold market trading volumes lowered

Trading activities across global gold markets contracted, averaging US$148bn per day in February, a 16% m/m fall. Trading volumes at the over-the-counter (OTC) market declined to US$96bn/day, 7% lower than January, possibly driven by weaker wholesale demand in China amid seasonality and fewer working days.6 The average trading volume of exchange-traded derivatives decreased by 30% m/m, to US$49bn/day, mainly due to a 31% m/m plunge at the COMEX amid the tepid gold price performance. Global gold ETF market liquidity remained stable at US$1.8bn/day, unchanged from January.

Total net longs at the COMEX fell further to 448t by the end of February, 23t lower m/m.7  The weak gold price performance in the dollar and record-setting equities around the world diverted investor attention away from gold. Money manager net longs saw a mild decline of 12t, arriving at 212t as of February. Nonetheless, net long positioning has been rebounding during the second half of the month, supported by a notable rebound in the gold price during the period. 


  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 in 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. For more details, see our ETF methodology note.

  3. Based on the LBMA Gold Price PM. 

  4. 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.

  5. The 2024 Chinese New Year’s holiday occurred between 10 and 17 February 2024. 

  6. Based on net longs on 27 February 2024.