Exchange traded funds listed around the globe that invest in gold hold more than $1 trillion in total assets as investors continue to move into metals ETFs to hedge against inflation and seek shelter from sovereign debt uncertainty.

Gold ETFs added 45.6 metric tons of bullion, or 2.2%, in the second quarter, according to a report this week from the World Gold Council. Together, they now hold 2,155.3 metric tons of gold worth over $1 trillion.

Collectively, gold-backed ETFs “had strong net inflows during the second quarter,” according to the industry report. “ETFs have fully established themselves as an integral vehicle for accessing the gold market.”

Outside the U.S., ETFs listed in Europe and India saw notable inflows last quarter.

SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is the largest U.S. gold ETF with over $60 billion in assets. Gold ETFs have followed futures prices to all-time highs this week. Other big U.S.-listed gold ETFs include iShares Comex Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL). [Gold ETFs Climb]

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