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There's a Good Reason Why Gold Hasn't Rallied as Stocks Sold Off

It’s fair to ask why havens haven’t rallied as shares slumped.

Gold, for example, is down this week and exchange-traded funds backed by the metal saw heavy selling, with holdings declining the most since July.

One possible reason is that ETF investors might be selling gold to offset their stock-market losses, according to a note by Commerzbank AG analysts including Eugen Weinberg.

It’s not the first time gold has struggled during the acute phase of a sell-off -- the metal also fell during the 2008 crash, probably as investors scurried to cover margin calls.

Yet bullion’s haven appeal is evident in its outperformance on a relative basis, turning higher in later phases of a downturn while all else continues to slide.

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