CHART: Going gaga for gold, silver ETFs

On Friday, gold continued its good run in another day of brisk trading reaching a high of $1,280.90 an ounce, the highest in more than three weeks. Silver futures followed suit jumping to $17.38, the best close since May 18. Gold is up 20.8% year to date, while silver has added 24.9% in 2016.

A big factor supporting the gold rally – the best start to the year in more than a decade – and silver's rebound have been investors in physical gold-backed exchange traded funds.

"There is not much standing in the way of reaching the highs from earlier this year"

Global vault holdings have swelled to around 1,870 tonnes, the highest since December 2013 following net inflows of some 400 tonnes so far this year – a dramatic reversal of the trend during the last three years when a staggering 1,198 tonnes left funds.

Silver ETF investors are piling in too with total holdings now within a fraction of a percentage from all-time highs reached in 2014 above 20,000 tonnes. Physical gold ETF holdings  hit a record record 2,632 tonnes at the end of 2012.

"In an environment of rising event risk, sub-zero interest rates and now the potential of rising inflation following the recent jump in food and energy, gold and silver should continue to prosper," says Ole Hansen, Head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank.

According to the Danish bank having broken above $1,265/oz on gold and $17.19/oz on silver, "there is not much standing in the way of reaching the highs from earlier this year." Gold hit a 2016 high just above $1,300 at the beginning of March, while silver peaked at $18.03 around the same time.

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