The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) and other gold-related exchange traded products have recently taken their lumps, but there are some factors that could stake rallies for once hot bullion-based ETFs.

Buying of gold by hedge funds and other professional investors along with increased purchasing of gold ETFs has been one of the reasons why the yellow metal is one of this year’s best-performing asset classes.

Related: Demand Supports Gold ETFs

Global central banks, some of which are seen as key supporters of gold’s upside, remain buyers of the yellow metal. Actually, central banks have been diligently buying gold since the global financial crisis in 2008.

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.

Goldman Sachs “said they continued to expect U.S. real rates rise into the year-end, weighing on gold prices, but they added that demand for the precious metal will still give some support,” reports CNBC.

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