Hedge fund managers such as John Paulson have been cutting their stakes in gold ETFs while many long-term investors appear to be standing pat despite the precious metal’s price decline.

The amount of gold held in bullion-backed ETFs listed around the globe fell by more than 400 metric tons in the second quarter, according to a World Gold Council report released Thursday.

This reduction was “driven by hedge funds and other speculative investors continuing to exit their positions,” it added. “This was predominantly in the U.S.”

World Gold Trust Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the World Gold Council, is the sponsor of SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the largest bullion-backed ETF. [Paulson Slashes GLD Stake]

In the second quarter, overall gold demand fell by 12% from the previous quarter to 856.3 metric tons.

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