U.S. investors are beginning to hoard gold and gold-related ETFs as more grow wary of any potential setbacks in an extended bull market rally.

According to a recent World Gold Council research note, gold-backed ETF flows in September increased by 22.4 metric tons to 2,357 metric tons globally. North America made up the lion’s share of the increased demand, contributing to an added 36 metric tons of gold through funds listed in the region, whereas European investors yanked 12 metric tons worth of gold over the month and Asian funds lost 1.7 metric tons of gold.

Physically backed gold-related ETFs, such as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEArca: IAU) and ETFS Physical Swiss Gold Shares (NYSEArca: SGOL) all track gold price movements and are backed by storing physical gold bullion in vaults. Consequently, as demand for the gold ETFs rise and investors funnel more money into the ETFs, the gold trusts would naturally have to increase their gold bullion stores to reflect the increased demand.

In September, the SPDR Gold Shares, which is backed by the World Gold Council, led flows, accounting for 60% of gross global inflows, while the iShares Gold Trust added 5.2% to its total assets under management.

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