Gold ETF inflows slowed but remained healthy in April

Global gold ETFs registered healthy net inflows of 43t (US$3bn) in April. While this is 77% lower than the previous month, which was the strongest since February 2016, it is the fourth consecutive month of inflows, maintaining the momentum of flight-to-quality flows we have witnessed this year.

Gold ETF assets surge to near record highs in March

Global gold ETFs had net inflows of 187.3t (US$11.8bn, 5.3% of AUM) in March, with assets just below the record of US$240.3bn, set in August 2020. March inflows were the strongest since February 2016, despite a significant rebound in equities and a strong US dollar performance.

Gold ETFs inflows continue in February amid high inflation and geopolitical risk

Global gold ETFs drew net inflows of 35.3t (US$2.1bn, 1.0% of AUM) in February. Positive flows were almost evenly split between North American and European funds, continuing the year-to-date growth in Western markets and considerably outweighing outflows from Asia. Global net inflows were driven by stubbornly high inflation and a surge in geopolitical risk on the back of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which pushed the gold price to an intra-month high of US$1,936/oz.

Gold ETFs bounce back to begin 2022 led by North American funds

Global gold ETFs drew net inflows of 46.3t (US$2.7bn, 1.3% of AUM) in January, led by North American funds – partially offsetting the region’s 2021 outflows. These combined with positive flows from Europe significantly outweighed Asian outflows. Overall, net inflows were driven largely by gold price strength and a sharp selloff in equity markets, despite a reversal in the gold price on the back of a hawkish US Fed statement towards the end of the month.

Gold ETFs had net outflows of US$9bn in 2021 led by North American funds

Physically backed gold ETFs saw global outflows of 173 tonnes (t) (-US$9.1bn, -4.0% AUM) in 2021. Collective gold holdings were down 5% to 3,570t for the year, while assets under management (AUM) in value terms dropped 9% to US$209bn as net outflows were compounded by a 4% contraction in the gold price.  Despite considerable outflows for the year, gold ETF holdings remain significantly above pre-pandemic levels, as they posted record inflows of approximately 875t (US$48bn) during 2020.

Gold ETF flows turn positive in November led by North American funds

Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net inflows of 13.6 tonnes (t) (US$838mn, 0.4% AUM) in November, the first month of positive flows since July. Inflows into North America and Europe well exceeded outflows from Asia, which saw negative flows for the first time since May. Global gold ETF holdings rebounded from year-to-date lows, increasing to 3,578t (US$208bn) as investment demand for larger gold ETFs returned amid decades-high inflation and heightened market volatility. 

Gold ETFs Continue to Slide in September Driving Net Outflows in Q3

Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net outflows of 15.2 tonnes (t) (-US$830mn, -0.4% AUM) in September. Outflows in Europe and North America were only partially offset by inflows in Asia. Global gold ETF holdings fell to 3,592t (US$201bn) during the month – the lowest tonnage level since April – as the gold price fell on the back of rising yields, a stronger dollar and a reduction in COMEX managed money net long positions.

Gold ETFs reverse course in August driven by North American outflows

Gold-backed ETFs (gold ETFs) experienced net outflows in August of 22.4 tonnes (t) (-US$1.3bn, -0.6% AUM), as North American outflows outweighed inflows into European and Asian funds. Gold faced headwinds early in August as the dollar briefly strengthened and rising Treasury yields weighed on investment flows, triggering momentum selling shortly thereafter. Gold prices recovered late in the month, but it did not spur sufficient offsetting inflows, as global holdings fell to 3,611t (US$211bn) – the lowest tonnage level since May.