Although exchange traded funds backed by physical holdings of gold, such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), have gained over 8% this year, investors have been reluctant to return to gold ETFs after scurrying out of the funds last year.
Reluctant until now. Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East and Eastern Europe coupled with some help from the Federal Reserve have helped gold recapture investors’ attention. GLD and rivals such as the ETFS Physical Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) and the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) gained about 6% last month, convincing some investors to return to gold ETFs. [Gold ETFs Surged in June]
Assets in GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, jumped 1.4% to 796.39 metric tons in the two sessions through Tuesday, reports Debarati Roy for Bloomberg. That’s GLD’s best two-day gain in nearly three years and comes after more than 550 tons were pulled from the fund last year, according to Bloomberg.
Year-to-date, GLD an SGOL have lost $222.5 million and $24.4 million, respectively. However, GLD, IAU and SGOL have seen combined inflows of about $415 million since June 23.
Lack of selling pressure from ETFs has helped good prices firm as some of Wall Street’s biggest names stick by the yellow metal. John Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., was the largest holder of GLD with 10.23 million shares as of the end of the first quarter. [Paulson Still Loves GLD]
DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach also sounded a bullish tone on gold when recently discussing debasement of the U.S. dollar.
India remains pivotal to gold ETFs’ fortunes. The country is the second-largest gold consumer in the world behind China and last year implemented a tariff on bullion imports aimed at reducing the country’s current account deficit.
However, there has been talk that with the recent election of Narendra Modi, the gold tariff could be lifted or reduced, which would likely mean a near-term rally for the aforementioned ETFs.
SPDR Gold Shares
ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.