Gold’s skid below $1,600 an ounce has skittish investors exiting ETFs that hold bullion with the products are on track for record monthly outflows in February.
ETFs backed by physical gold have seen their assets shrink by a record 100 metric this month to hit a five-month low of 2,508 metric tons, BullionVault reports.
“Patience with gold seems to be wearing thin amongst many investors as illustrated by the low positioning in Comex gold futures and outflows from ETF holdings,” BNP Paribas analysts said in the article.
“The gold price is unlikely to make any significant gains for as long as outflows from the gold ETFs continue. Nonetheless, we do not believe the current weakness in the price of gold to be sustainable,” added analysts at Commerzbank. [Gold ETFs Remain a Hedge Against Downside Risks]
SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the largest gold ETF, is on track for its largest monthly outflows since launching in 2004.
GLD has seen its bullion holdings drop by 70 metric tons, or 5%, Reuters reports.
This month’s outflows from gold ETFs are notable because shareholders in these funds are viewed as long-term investors or so-called sticky assets. [Measuring the Impact of Gold ETFs]
“ETF holdings have in the past proved relatively resilient to price corrections,” according to Reuters. [Gold ETFs: Vicious Circle of Selling?]
“Who exactly has been liquidating, and why, we don’t know, but it has been spread across multiple funds, suggesting a reasonably broad-based exit of some investors from physically backed gold funds,” Credit Suisse analyst Tom Kendall said in the report.
“In the last few years you’ve seen more and more players with a shorter-term investment horizon playing the gold market through the ETFs,” added Bank of America-Merrill Lynch analyst Michael Widmer in the Reuters story. “A lot of the faster money has left, that’s for sure. (But) among longer-term investors, I’m not sure we’ve seen a massive readjustment of expectations.”
ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL)
Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD.