Industry Updates

Gold ETFs' struggles continue in Q2

George Geddes

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As global equity and fixed income markets continue to perform well, gold mining ETFs and gold-backed ETCs have faced significant outflows over the last week amid falling net asset values (NAV).

The iShares Physical Gold ETC saw its NAV fall 0.4% in tandem with its assets under management (AUM) falling 1.5%, according to data from Ultumus. Similarly the ETFS Gold ETC (BULL) saw significantly large outflows over the seven days of $72.3m. BULL’s total AUM dropped 1.5% as its NAV decreased 0.4% as well.

Furthermore, the VanEck Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) and the iShares Gold Producers ETF (SPGP) were among the worst performing ETFs for last week. GDXJ and SPGP’s NAV fell 5.3% and 4.0%, respectively.

Last week’s poor performance was carried over from the commodity’s difficult run in April. Investors’ optimistic outlook on the global economy and a rallying US dollar has seen global gold-backed ETF holdings fall $2.2bn in April, according to the World Gold Council’s April Fund Flows report.

With $731m flows year-to-date, Europe is the only region to have positive flows into gold-backed ETFs. World Gold Council (WGC) says the reason for this is likely due to Brexit uncertainty making it difficult for investors to nominate where to keep their capital.

North America saw a similar figure ($733m) in outflows over the same four-month period. Globally, YTD net flows remains negative at 0.4%.

Despite the negative global performance in the first four months of 2019, WGC forecasts certain events will create more favourable conditions for gold for the rest of the year. Stretched stock valuations, dovish monetary policy, political uncertainty in Europe as well as the continued trade war between the US and China could see investors flocking to the commodity.

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