ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Exchange traded funds backed by physical holdings of gold, such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) and the ETFS Physical Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL), climbed more than 6% last month.

Perhaps not coincidentally, gold imports to India surged 65%. Last year, the Indian government raised import tariffs on gold and other precious metals in an effort to stem its widening current account deficit that pressured the rupee and Indian equities.

“Shipments surged to $3.12 billion last month from $1.89 billion a year earlier while the trade deficit widened to $11.8 billion, the highest since July last year,” reports Swansy Afonso for Bloomberg, citing data from India’s Commerce Ministry.

Gold ETFs have traded lower this week on talk of light physical demand and speculation that Portugal’s banking system is not as bad as off as investors were thinking last week. However, GLD is up 4% since the start of June and data suggest investors are returning to gold ETFs in earnest. [Gold Wants More Market Volatility]

Since the start of July, GLD has hauled in $772.2 million in assets while the iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) has added nearly $14 million in new assets.

India is the world’s second-largest gold consumer behind China. Earlier Wednesday, the Indian government reduced its import tariff on gold to $425 per 10 grams from $428 while raising the tariff on silver to $690 per kilogram from $688.

There is talk that India could be forced to lower its gold tariffs to curb rampant smuggling of the yellow metal. Estimates range from 150 tons to 250 tons of illegally imported gold to India just last year.

Gold is in the midst of seasonally strong period, which lasts until October 9. From July 12 through October 9 “gold bullion has gained an average of 3.63 per cent during the past 29 periods, outperforming the S&P 500 Index by 4.98 per cent. The trade has been particularly profitable in recent history, gaining in 14 of the past 17 periods for an average return of 5.44 per cent,” reports Don Vialoux for The Globe and Mail. [Favorable Seasonality Arrives for Gold ETFs]

SPDR Gold Shares

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.