ETF Buyers Return to Precious Metals Amid Trump Policy Angst

  • $1.6 billion pour into 10 precious metal-backed ETFs
  • Biggest gold miner ETF attracts more money as metal rebounds

Add the flap over U.S. immigration policy to investor concerns that are reigniting demand for precious metals as havens.

Long-only exchange-traded funds backed by precious metals have attracted about $200 million this month, on course for the first monthly inflow since October, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence showed. Almost $1.6 billion poured into the 10 precious-metals ETFs that have attracted the most money in January, with Frankfurt-listed Xetra-Gold ETF drawing in more than any other commodity ETF.

Gold futures posted the first monthly gain since September as uncertainty over the impact of President Donald Trump’s policies on trade and global growth start to outweigh concerns about potential interest rate increases in the U.S. The dollar is poised for a decline in January against a basket of 10 currencies.

“After a week in office, Donald Trump is keeping investors on their toes already with his executive order over the weekend impacting the dollar,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets U.K. Ltd.

Gold futures for April delivery gained 1.3 percent to settle at $1,211.40 an ounce at 1:42 p.m. on the Comex Tuesday. Prices climbed 5.2 percent in January, after falling 13 percent over the previous three months.

On Jan. 27, Trump issued an immigration clampdown, opening a rift with some U.S. lawmakers and prompting key American allies to distance themselves from the U.S. president. The move underscores uncertainty stemming from Trump’s “America first” rhetoric and plans to scrap regional trade deals, which are seen by some investors as a risk to global economic growth. Investors have also been concerned over the fallout from Britain’s plans to exit the European Union and the potential split of the trade bloc.

Equities Slip

Global equities extended declines on Tuesday after Trump fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates just hours after she told Justice Department staff not to defend the immigration ban in court because she didn’t think it was legal.

Not all precious-metals funds have fared well this month. Some $863.9 million has exited SPDR Gold Shares, the largest commodity ETF. That’s still only about half of the money that flowed into the 10 top-drawing precious metals ETFs during that time, though.

VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF, the largest such fund tracking raw-materials equities, attracted $165 million this month, as share prices rallied. A gauge of 16 senior gold producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence has climbed almost 11 percent gain this month. Kinross Gold Corp., Goldcorp Inc. and Barrick Gold Corp. are among the biggest gainers.

Xetra-Gold ETF lured $793.4 million this month, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Source Bloomberg Commodity ETF attracted $360 million since its inception on Jan. 12, boosting assets by 66 percent.

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