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Apr 3, 2019

Gold bugs with 'FOMO' get in on market rally, pull cash from ETFs

A stack of gold bars sits in a Goldcorp Inc. vault in Toronto, Ontario, Canada .

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Investors are yanking money out of gold exchange-traded funds as hints of improving global growth and surging stocks lure them into riskier assets.

The largest fund in the space, the US$32 billion SPDR Gold Shares fund, or GLD, lost more than US$671 million of assets this week. And around US$153 million was pulled out of the US$10 billion VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF, ticker GDX, over the last five trading days. GLD tracks the commodity while GDX tracks shares of gold mining companies.

“The precious metal has been out of luck as investors are interested in buying riskier assets than parking their money in safe-haven assets,” Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, wrote in a note Wednesday. “The reality is that everyone is looking at the quarterly performance of equity markets and they are feeling FOMO.”

Concerns about a deep slowdown in global growth receded over the last week and buoyed risk assets amid a smattering of positive economic data. There have been signs China’s economy is stabilizing, and the outlook for Europe got a boost Wednesday from better-than-expected services data.

Investors are now looking toward a resolution to ongoing trade talks between the U.S. and China, which could provide another catalyst to sustain the rally in equities. The S&P 500 is up 15 per cent since the beginning of the year, notching its best quarter in a decade, and is inching toward record highs.

“They’d rather be in equities,” Louise Yamada, managing director of Louise Yamada Technical Research Advisors, said in an interview. “The market has started to do better, so they’re going to go away from the defensive and move into where they feel there’s perhaps more possibility.”