ETFS Precious Metals Weekly:Gold ETF holdings hit all time high as gold price has worst day in 2 years-continued

March 5, 2012--Gold and other precious metals ETF holdings surge on back of price declines. The gold price and other precious metals prices corrected sharply last week as stretched 'speculative' futures investors used Bernanke's indication that another round of quantitative easing from the US central bank may not be imminent as an excuse to take profits.
ETF investors appeared to view the price drop as a buying opportunity with a surge of gold and other precious metal ETF buying. Gold ETF holdings hit an all time high last week, rising by around 267,000 ounces to over 77.3mn ounces, $132bn at the current gold price. Continued exceptionally accomodative monetary policy globally, large and still rising sovereign debt burdens and the continued high vulnerability of the global recovery to multiple potential external shocks are expected to keep a firm underpinning to investor and central demand for gold in the near and medium term.

Platinum and Palladium ETFs see growing demand as rising US auto sales and strong China demand keep price expectations high. Implats platinum mine labour issues are now being resolved and production is expected to start coming back onstream this week. The strike cost 120,000oz in lost PGM production.

The apparent resolution of the labor issue will likely remove platinum’s near-term supply-risk price premium. Rebounding US auto sales and continued continued growth from China, however, appear to be compensating keeping prices well supported. Both platinum and palladium have seen ETF investor demand pick-up strongly this year (see charts on page 3) and futures postioning has also run-up quite sharply. The jump in speculative longs in the futures market is something that needs to monitored closely, as it indicates that prices could be susceptible to a short-term correction if macro news were to turn negative.

However, with auto demand still strong and supply issues still a key risk, barring a global relapse into recession, any correction is likely to be relatively short-lived.

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Source: ETF Securities

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