Nearly 180 metric tons of bullion flowed out of gold ETFs in the first quarter as notable investors including George Soros dumped their positions in SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) and other precious metal funds amid a pullback in prices.
The first quarter saw a “strong resurgence” in demand for gold jewellery, bars and coins; however, overall demand was down 13%, according to a report released Thursday from the World Gold Council.
“Outfows from ETFs accounted for the vast bulk of this decline; excluding these outflows overall demand grew year-on-year,” it said.
Also, SEC filings Wednesday revealed that Soros Fund Management LLC lowered its investment in GLD, the largest gold ETF, by 12% in the first quarter to 530,900 shares, Bloomberg reports.
The correction in gold prices has erased $42 billion in value from gold exchange traded products, according to the report. Assets in GLD have dropped 22%.
In terms of performance, GLD was down about 17% year to date through Wednesday’s close. Other gold ETFs include iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL).
Deutsche Bank analysts predict that gold ETFs could shed an additional 250 metric tons of bullion due to investor redemptions. [Gold ETFs Set for More Outflows]