Equities back in fashion while gold loses its appeal

ETF tradingExchange-traded equity funds had the best start to the year on record, in terms of net inflows, while money flowed out of gold funds.

The first two months of the year saw $47 billion (€36 billion) of net new money flow into equity ETFs, according to figures from BlackRock. This was the highest total the firm had recorded for any January and February on record.

Meanwhile, there were $6.8 billion of net outflows from exchange-traded gold products as investors seemed to lose their enthusiasm for the precious metal.

Rising equity markets in recent months, particularly in the United States, where the S&P 500 is up 8% so far this year, may have caused the waning demand for gold. The precious metal is often seen as a safe haven in volatile markets and exchange-traded products have become a popular way to gain exposure.

The world's biggest exchange-traded gold product is the SPDR Gold from State Street Global Advisors. In the first two months of the year, this fund alone had nearly $5 billion of net outflows, leaving it with $64 billion under management.

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