Precious Metals Lead Resurgence by Commodities ETFs

March 3rd at 12:45pm by Tom Lydon

While equities wilt as tensions in Ukraine escalate, gold’s safe-haven status is proving alluring with investors rushing to the yellow metal as a shelter-from-the-storm play.

Gold futures climbed last month, helping some of the major exchange traded funds backed by holdings of physical gold to see their first month of inflows in over a year.

Last week saw the highest in flows across commodity ETPs in over a year. “Leading the trend were precious metal ETPs, which saw aggregate inflows of $206 million,” according to a research note by Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy, and Nitesh Shah associate director – research at ETF Securities.

Recent data points confirm a precious metals resurgence of sorts. In just the first two months of this year, gold-backed ETFs retraced more than a third of the losses incurred during last year’s unprecedented decline. Now, professional traders and hedge funds are increasing their bullish bets on the yellow metal, according to futures market data. However, gold is not the only metal in the spotlight. [Bullish Bets on Gold Rise]

“ETF Securities saw $139 million of flows into long silver ETPs, just shy of the highest flows into the products seen in August 2013. In the past month silver has returned 7.8% versus 5.7% for gold and a small dip in silver prices appears to have been viewed as a buying opportunity,” according to the ETF issuer.

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) each gained more than 9% in February while the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSEArca: PPLT) climbed 4.4% amid ongoing labor strife in South Africa, the largest producer of platinum. [Higher Platinum Prices to be Expected]

“The platinum spot price rose 2.3% last week and is now up 7.2% year-to-date. Consensus estimates of 6-8 weeks of metal supply held by the producers may have weighed on price performance earlier this year, but if the labour impasse in South Africa (over 70% of platinum supply) is not resolved  soon we could see further price upside on concerns of a supply squeeze,” according to ETF Securities.

Looking at other commodities, although futures data show traders are expecting further upside in high-flying coffee, ETF Securities says $18.2 million was pulled from long coffee exchange traded products last week.

The iPath Dow Jones-UBS Coffee Total Return Sub-Index ETN (NYSEArca: JO) and the iPath Pure Beta Coffee ETN (NYSEArca: CAFE) were among the best-performing non-leveraged exchange traded products last month.

ETFS Physical Silver Shares

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of SLV.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.