Gold ETF Holdings Climb to Record on Debt Uncertainty | ETF Trends

Assets in exchange traded funds that follow gold prices are at an all-time high as more investors tap the liquid vehicles to get exposure to the precious metal.

Holdings in exchange traded products backed by gold climbed a record $113 billion on July 29, according to data from Bloomberg.

The roughly $66 billion SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is the largest ETF in the category. Hedge fund manager John Paulson is the biggest investor in the ETF, according to the report. [Hedge Fund Managers Soros, Paulson Mixed on Gold ETFs]

Gold futures traded around $1,620 an ounce on Monday as both houses of Congress prepared to vote on the U.S. debt ceiling compromise. [The Contrarian: Short Gold with ETFs?]

It is still uncertain whether ratings agencies will downgrade their triple-A credit ratings on U.S. government debt. Gold prices did get a brief boost Monday after weak ISM manufacturing data. [Investors Ditch Currency ETFs, Buy Gold]

“There has been some [gold]selling overnight but traders haven’t been particularly aggressive,” a U.S.-based trader told FastMarkets. “This package still has to get voted on and, given the last couple weeks of drama and dysfunction, there’s always the chance for things to go pear-shaped at the last minute. The market can now turn attention back to Europe, which is in a far, far worse position than the U.S.” [Europe ETFs Hit]

Here is a list of some of the largest gold-themed exchange traded funds and notes, including those that invest in miner stocks. Additionally, some of the products employ leverage that magnifies gains and losses:

  • SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD)
  • iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU)
  • Market Vectors Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDX)
  • ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL)
  • Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners (NYSEArca: GDXJ)
  • PowerShares DB Gold Double Long ETN (NYSEArca: DGP)
  • ProShares Ultra Gold (NYSEArca: UGL)

Full disclosure: Tom Lydon’s clients own GLD and GDXJ.

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.