Commodity traders are moving back into safe-haven gold exchange traded funds and away from industrial metals on concerns of slowing economic growth in the emerging markets and amid the global sell-off in equities.

The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) have all gained a little over 3% year-to-date.

In comparison, the MSCI Emerging Markets Index is down 6.6% so far this year while the S&P 500 is down 3.5%.

Net longs in gold futures surged 40% to 60,672 futures and options in the week ended Jan. 28, with long bets increasing 5.5% to the highest since September while short bets dipped 16%, reports Debarati Roy for Bloomberg.

Over the pas week, GLD has attracted $109.3 million in inflows and IAU added $19.4 million, according to

Gold “is seeing some buying given the turmoil in many countries, but what remains to be seen is if the rally can sustain in the face of tapering,” Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer of OakBrook Investments LLC., said in the Bloomberg article. [Macro Issues Lift Gold ETFs]

About $1.9 trillion was erased from global equities in the past month after China revealed slower growth, the Fed continued tapering and other emerging market economies increased rates to stem their quickly depreciating currencies.