Gold price back above $1,700 as 2020 ETF inflows surpass any calendar year

The gold price jumped by almost $30 an ounce on Thursday clearing the $1,700 an ounce level as retail and institutional investors continue to pile into the metal seen as a safe haven in times of turmoil.

Gold for delivery in August was trading at $1,723 an ounce in New York, logging gains in excess of $200 an ounce so far in 2020.

Continuing the recent growth streak, gold-backed ETFs added 154 tonnes for net inflows of $8.5 billion across all regions in May, boosting global holdings to a new all-time high of 3,510 tonnes, according to new data from the World Gold Council (WGC).

Year-to-date, inflows of 623 tonnes, representing a value of $33.7 billion, now exceed what was initially the highest level of annual inflows of $24 billion seen in 2016.

Gold-backed ETF holdings as of May 31, 2020. Source: Bloomberg, World Gold Council

During May, North American ETFs increased holdings by 102 tonnes or $5.6 billion, with SPDR Gold Shares leading all global inflows, adding 67 tonnes ($3.7 billion), followed by iShares Gold Trust, which added 20 tonnes ($1.1 billion).

European funds increased their holdings by 45 tonnes or $2.4 billion, led by UK-based iShares Physical, which added 23.3 tonnes ($1.3 billion). The balance of gold inflows occurred in Asia and other regions.

The WGC said assets in global gold-backed ETFs have nearly doubled over the past 12 months.

The Council also noted that UK-based gold funds continue to take regional and global market share, now representing 48% of European assets and 21% of global assets.

In the US, low-cost gold-backed ETFs have doubled their collective holdings in the past year to 99 tonnes, roughly the size of all Asian-based funds.

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