The Strategist

Gold assets in ETFs surge as inflation in USA rises

05/17/2021 - 03:59

A sharp rise in inflation in the US has led to a surge in interest in protective assets, especially gold. Total gold ETF assets surpassed 100m ounces by the end of the week, returning to early April levels.

Mark Herpel
Mark Herpel
Emerging Portfolio Fund Research (EPFR) data shows strong growth in international investors' demand for gold. Based on Bank of America's report (incorporating EPFR data), total gold fund holdings reached $1.7bn in the week ended May 12, the highest since early February. This is the fifth week in a row that they have increased, falling short of $100m in mid-April.

The total amount of funds invested during this period reached almost $4bn, compensating for the outflow two months earlier.

The high interest of international investors in gold is also evidenced by data from Bloomberg. According to the agency, total assets of gold exchange-traded funds by the end of last week again exceeded 100 million ounces (3.11 thousand tons). 

They added more than 20.6 tonnes in five days of strong growth and returned to their highest level since April 4. According to Bloomberg, the cost of gold on the spot market has held near the highest values since the first decade of February. At the close of trading on May 14, the metal price reached $ 1840 per ounce, which is 0.6% more than the close of the previous week and by 4% above the values of late April.

High demand for gold was caused by analysts' expectations about unemployment and inflation in the USA that did not come true. The US Labor Department reported that the number of new non-farm payrolls rose by only 266,000 in April, almost four times below analysts' forecasts.