Without Asian consumers buying up gold, global demand for the precious metal has dipped to a six-year low. However, gold-related exchange traded funds can still shine toward the end of the year.
Gold ETFs, including the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL), dipped 0.8% Thursday, paring some of the back-to-back gains. Over the past week, the gold ETFs gained about 3.7%. [Best and Worst Sector ETFs for August]
Gold prices were pressured after the World Gold Council revealed global gold demand dropped 12% to a six-year low of 914.9 tonnes. According to a report for Q2 2015, the World Gold Council found that the decline in demand from consumers across India and China outweighed a small uptick in demand in Europe and the U.S.
Nevertheless, the council remained optimistic.
“Looking ahead, there are encouraging signs moving into what are traditionally the busiest quarters for gold buying in India and China,” according to the World Gold Council.
Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, pointed out that the jewellery market looks healthier for the rest of the year as the upcoming wedding and festival season in India could help support demand.
While gold prices have declined over 5% this year, a pullback in gold has historically fueled buying in price sensitive markets, which Hewitt sees early indications of across Asia and the Middle East.
Central banks are also raising their positions in gold, accounting for 137 tons of demand in Q2 2015, or up 11% compared to the previous quarter. It was also the 18th consecutive quarter where central banks were net buyers.