Highest volume in gold-backed ETFs since 2012

News Arnulf Hinkel, financial journalist – 18.01.2019

Last September, few would have predicted  that despite significant outflows from gold-backed ETFs and ETCs, the late trend reversal was not only strong enough to regain lost ground, it also led to assets under management in this asset class amounting to more than US$100 billion in early December 2018. According to the World Gold Council, this level was reached for the first time since 2012. 

Wildly varying inflows and outflows worldwide

On a global basis, 8.7 per cent inflows and 5.4 per cent outflows in gold-backed ETFs occurred in 2018. US-based gold ETFs saw the lion's share of the outflows in Q3 2018, but the following quarter’s rally led to an offset of these outflows to minus 1.3 per cent. Outflows also dominated other regions, although never to the same extent as in the US. Asia closed 2018 with a minus of 2.1 per cent, albeit at a much lower level: 80.0 tons compared to 1230.4 tons of gold assets in the US. This is also the reason why the substantial net outflows of 29.1 per cent outside Europe, Asia or the US did not play a major role, amounting to an outflow volume of a mere 9.7 tons of gold.

Germany led European inflows for the second time in a row

In 2018, Europe was clearly the "gold region no. 1" with net inflows of 10 per cent and 1,097 tons of assets under management in gold-backed ETFs and ETCs. According to the latest figures from the World Gold Council, German ETFs and ETCs, as in the previous year, led the net inflows Europe-wide, amounting to gold assets under management of US$2.6 billion, followed by the UK with gold-backed ETFs worth US$1.7 billion. The high volumes in Europe were caused mainly by geopolitical uncertainties, especially the now fast approaching Brexit, which still holds the danger of becoming a "no-deal" exit for the UK.

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