Global gold-backed ETF holdings added 15 tonnes(t) to 2,484t in May, according to a latest update from the World Gold Council (WGC). Europe and Asia drove inflows as European funds have responded strongly in the past two months. North American fund flows reversed their early 2018 trend as they lost 2.3% of assets, likely a result of the volatile prices in the gold market which left gold lower by 60bps (in dollar terms) on the month.
Volatility and weakness in the gold market were largely driven by a stronger dollar (Dollar index rose 2.3% on the month). However, USD-hedged gold was higher by 1.4% on the month. This highlights our view that having some allocation to USD-hedged gold helps risk-adjusted returns by lowering price volatility in periods when currency prices fluctuate, noted the WGC.