Gold held in exchange traded funds (ETFs) climbed to 823 metric tons, which exceeds the holdings of the Bank of Japan, Credit Suisse Standard Securities said. The Bank of Japan held 765 tons at the end of 2006, according to International Monetary Fund figures.

Ownership of gold through ETFs has more than doubled from about 337 tons at the end of 2005, reports Claudia Carpenter for Bloomberg. Investors have been increasingly seeking refuge in the commodity because of the weakening dollar. Gold rose to a 27-year high of $739.30 an ounce last week, and it is up 15% this year. Some gold ETFs and their performance year-to-date include:

  • streetTracks Gold Shares Fund (GLD) – up 14.5%
  • iShares Comex Gold Trust (IAU) – up 14.2%
  • PowerShares DB Gold (DGL) – up 12.6% for the last three months as it was launched in early 2007. It invests in gold futures not the bullion.

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