BullionVault, an online service for investors to buy and sell physical gold and silver, said its Gold Investor Index slipped to an 18-month low in January as prices posted the first monthly advance since August.
The gauge fell to 51.9 last month, the lowest since July 2012, from 52.9 in December, the London-based company said in an e-mailed report today. A reading above 50 indicates more buyers than sellers.
Gold posted its first annual decline since 2000 last year as some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value and as global equities rallied. The Federal Reserve cut its monthly bond purchases to $65 billion from $75 billion last week. Bullion climbed as much as 8.2 percent since reaching a six-month low on Dec. 31 as lower prices spurred physical demand, particularly from Asia, the biggest buying region.
“It’s natural that newer investors remain wary after last year’s sharp drop,” Adrian Ash, head of research at BullionVault, said in the report. “Sentiment remains positive overall.”
Gold for immediate delivery traded at $1,259.70 an ounce by 8:01 a.m. in London. It ended January 3.2 percent higher after slumping 28 percent last year and reached a two-month high of $1,279.61 on Jan. 27.
The company’s customers own about $1.29 billion of gold and holdings fell for a second straight month in January, declining 0.4 percent to 32.18 metric tons, the lowest since July, it said. The metal is held in vaults in London, Singapore, New York, Toronto and Zurich.