Holdings of gold by global exchange-traded funds rose by 31.4 tonnes during August, said the World Gold Council in a new monthly report Wednesday.
For the year to date, global gold-backed ETFs have added 143.5 tonnes, equivalent to $5.3 billion, the Gold Council said. Holdings stand at 2,295 tonnes.
ETFs for precious metals generally trade like a stock but track the price of the commodity, with metal put into storage to back the shares. While a handful of funds allow other holdings such as cash or derivatives, the WGC said it only monitors those investing at least 90% through physical gold and then adjusts reported assets to estimate physical holdings only.
“Gold ETFs account for a significant part of the gold market, with institutional and individual investors using them to implement many of their investment strategies,” the Gold Council said.
North American ETFs posted the most inflows in August, as investors added 27.8 tonnes of gold, the Gold Council said. The increase in Europe was 6.4 tonnes, while Asian ETF holdings declined 2.4 tonnes. When including all regions in the world, total inflows were 38 tonnes, while total outflows were 6.6 tonnes, the Gold Council said.
The world’s largest gold ETF, SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE Arca: GLD), posted the biggest monthly inflow at 22.4 tonnes.
Meanwhile, European funds have the most inflows for the year to date at 131 tonnes, accounting for nearly 79% of all inflows worldwide, the Gold Council said. North America inflows are 22 tonnes, while Asian ETFs posted outflows of 10 tonnes.