Investors believe the U.S. economy is improving and that is proving to be the culprit behind another mass exodus from gold exchange traded products.
The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), the world’s largest gold ETF, saw its holdings of bullion dwindle to 780.19 metric tons Tuesday as investors have yanked $2.6 billion from the fund in just the past two months, reports Debarati Roy for Bloomberg.
Investors have also pulled a combined $91 million from the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and the ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) since March 20. Professional traders are paring their long bets on gold while short positions have more than doubled over the past two months, according to Bloomberg.
Gold’s struggles come as other precious metals are soaring and despite speculation that India’s recent elections could prompt the curbing of punitive import tariffs that have restricted legal purchases in the world’s second-largest gold consumer. [Indian Demand Could Boost Gold ETFs]
Shares of the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSEArca: PALL) are higher by 0.6% Wednesday and the ETF, backed by holdings of physical palladium, is trading at its highest levels in nearly three years. PALL has surged 14% this year, more than double the gains posted by GLD.
While some have been dismissive of the fundamental factors that have boosted palladium, it surely is not a coincidence that the metal has soared amid robust automotive demand, economic sanctions against Russia and labor strife in South Africa. [Platinum Group ETFs Shine]
“South Africa is the world biggest producer of platinum and the second largest producer of palladium, with 72% and 37% of global mine supply coming from the country. Strikes in South Africa have entered their 17th week, eating into inventory that major global producers had kept aside for such events,” said ETF Securities in a research note published earlier this week.