A tense situation in the Gaza Strip and the tragedy of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 have combined to send investors scurrying into precious metals exchange traded funds.

Despite news that pro-Russian separatists are believed to be the culprits behind the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 that killed nearly 300 innocent people, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), ETFS Physical Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) and the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) each added just a third of a percent last week. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSEArca: SLV) and the ETFS Physical Silver Shares (NYSEArca: SIVR) finished the week modestly lower. [Gold/Silver Ratio Shows Promise for ETFs]

Gold and silver prices declined 2.1% and 2.2% respectively last week on futures led profit taking. The gold price recovered from a dip below US $1,300/oz.as geopolitical risk buffeted investor confidence. Contrary to the consensus view at the onset of 2014, gold ended the week still up about $100 on the year,” said ETF Securities in a new research note.

Declining developed market bond yields are also prompting investors to have a look at precious metals ETFs. Ten-year Treasury yields entered Monday hovering around their lowest levels in a year and, as ETF Securities notes, German bunds last week fell to new historic lows.

Even with last week’s lethargic performances, some gold ETFs took in fresh assets with GLD gaining $214.5 million in new assets. IAU added nearly $33 million in new capital. Since the start of July, GLD, the world’s largest gold ETF, has gained $622.2 million in new assets. [Investors Rush Back to Gold ETFs]

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