“Positive annual ETF inflows add 202.8t to demand in 2017, however this was around one-third of 2016’s inflows. European-listed gold-backed ETFs accounted for 73% of net inflows, with investors keenly attuned to geopolitics and negative interest rates,” said the WGC.

Over the past 20 years, gold has outperformed alternative and traditional assets, such as developed market stocks, hedge funds, developed markets debt, global real estate investments and the broader commodities complex, according to WGC data.

“The technology sector recovered in 2017, up 3% to 333t compared with 2016, ending a 6-year downtrend,” said the WGC. “The volume of gold used in electronics and other industrial applications grew steadily throughout the year, thanks to the increasing prevalence of new-generation features in smartphones, vehicles and laptops.”

For more information on the gold market, visit our gold category.

Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD.