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Gold holdings in world's largest ETP at lowest since 2008

London — Holdings in SPDR Gold Shares, the world's largest exchange-traded product backed by physically held gold, have fallen to their lowest since 2008, data from the company showed Wednesday.

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Gold holdings totaled 663.43 mt as of Tuesday, down 2.68 mt on the day, and follow 12 consecutive days of withdrawals.

Coinciding with a slide in gold prices, total holdings have fallen over 36.57 mt since October 15 to their lowest since the 2008 financial crisis.

A strong dollar and expectations of the first rate hike in the US in nearly a decade have helped pushed gold lower with COMEX spot prices falling almost $100/oz over four weeks.

The London Bullion Market Association Gold Price settled at $1,088.6/oz Wednesday morning, down 8.08% or $95.65/oz, from October 15.

The SPDR Gold Shares ETP is intended to offer investors a means of participating in the gold bullion market, without the necessity of taking physical delivery of gold, and is settled daily on the LBMA Gold Price.

Total holdings in physically backed gold ETPs are around 1,600 mt, with research by UBS showing total weekly withdrawals of 22 mt in the week to Monday.

According to UBS, other large ETPs have also seen withdrawals in the week to Monday, which include the 1.06 mt from the Source Fund and 0.68 mt from the iShares Gold Trust.

Speculative financial investors have also reduced their net long positions on COMEX, with the latest Commitment of Traders data showing net long positions dropped by 41% to 67,207 contracts for the week ending November 3, down from 114,092 the week earlier.

Data released this week by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed the drop in managed-money net long positions came after six weeks of gains, with the total the lowest it has been since the week ending October 6.

Commerzbank said in a note Monday, net longs "are likely to have been reduced even further in the following days."

--George King Cassell,
--Edited by Jonathan Dart,