One of the big reasons gold slipped into a bear market was the believe that global bullion demand was faltering. That scenario is reversing and it could spell more upside for the already high-flying SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) and other gold exchange traded funds.
Some analysts still believe that is possible gold ascends to $1,500 per troy ounce. Gold bullion prices have surged almost 20% this year as the Fed previously signaled it would slow the pace of interest rate normalization this year – higher interest rates typically weigh on gold prices since the hard asset provide no yield and would become less attractive to higher-yielding conservative debt assets in a rising rate environment.
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Demand for gold assets have surged this year. For instance, ETF flows into gold have expanded at their fastest pace since 2009. Physically backed gold ETF holdings are still one-third below the December 2012 peak, which suggest that prices can hold at about $1,200 per ounce.
“Buyers took advantage of gold’s price volatility to boost their holdings in May, according to data from BullionVault,” reports Myra Saefong for MarketWatch. “The increase in buying lifted a key measure of gold investment to its highest level in roughly three years, BullionVault’s report, released on Tuesday, shows.”[related_stories]
However, emerging market demand for gold has not picked up yet. For instance, China has shown little demand, with the Shanghai Gold Exchange seeing little growth in volume. While the higher prices may have deterred Asian buyers, demand could pick up if prices persist in going higher, analysts said.