Washington — Gold exchange-traded funds added a net 75.2 mt of gold worth $3.91 billion to their physical holdings in September, bringing total holdings to a record 2,808 mt as central banks lowered interest rates, according to data the World Gold Council released Tuesday.
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The inflows helped COMEX gold futures reach year-to-date highs.
North American funds led September's global inflows, adding 62.1 mt ($3.1 billion), or 83% of net inflows, the WGC said in a report.
European-listed ETFs brought in 7.7 mt ($586 million), mainly in the UK, as investors positioned for an impeding October 31 Brexit decision, WGC analysts said.
Asian ETFs had another month of strong inflows at 3.9 mt ($187 million), driven by Chinese funds.
"During the month, global monetary policy continued to influence gold-price performance as many central banks around the world cut rates or expanded quantitative easing measures," according WGC analysts said.
The US Federal Reserve cut rates 25 basis points in September as expected. Most analysts believe the Fed will cut rates again at least once by year end.
SPDR Gold Shares, the world's largest gold ETF, increased holdings in September by 42.5 mt, while the iShares Gold Trust raised holdings by 16.2 mt. Both ETFs are based in the US.
Inflows by European ETFs were led by Germany's Xtrackers Physical Gold Euro Hedged ETC at 3.5 mt and Britain's ETFS Physical Swiss Gold at 3.6 mt.
Asian ETFs were led by China's Bosera Gold Exchange Trade Open-End Fund ETF with 2.3 mt of inflows in September.
COMEX gold for December delivery closed at $1,560.40/oz September 4, the highest price for the year. But rally paused in mid-September as global rates increased and the US dollar strengthened.
Gold prices fell 3% in September after having increased 20% during the previous four months.
"Yet global demand for gold-backed ETFs remained strong, especially since gold remained near all-time highs in every major G10 currency, except the US dollar and Swiss franc," the WGC noted.
Looking forward, WGC analysts expect gold demand to remain supported because of uncertainties surrounding Brexit, the Trump impeachment inquiry, the US/China trade negotiations and the further easing of interest rates to boost economic growth.
-- Nick Jonson, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Valarie Jackson, email@example.com