After Europe and Japan enacted negative interest rate policies, overseas investors have steered toward gold bullion to protect their wealth against depreciating currencies. U.S. investors can also capitalize on this growing trend with gold-related exchange traded funds priced in euro and yen currency terms.

Gold sales in Japan jumped in March after the Bank of Japan’s move to set negative interest rates sent investors to alternative assets, reports Masumi Suga for Bloomberg.

Gold bar sales rose 35% to 8,192 kilgrams in the first quarter year-over-year, Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K., the country’s biggest bullion retailer, said in a statement.

In an attempt to stimulate the economy through lending, dozens of countries have cut policy rates below zero. However, the negative interest rate policies, or NIRP, have increased demand for bullion as it is not an interest-bearing asset.

Andrea Lang, director of marketing and sales at the Austrian Mint, also pointed out that Europeans are acquiring gold as a haven in response to negative rates.

The move has benefited investors in the past as gold has outperformed in low-rate environments.

“History shows that, in periods of low rates, gold returns are typically more than double their long-term average,” the World Gold Council said in a recent report. “Over the long run, negative interest rate policies may result in structurally higher demand for gold from central banks and investors alike.”

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