International investors are actively reducing investments in gold: the assets of the world's largest gold exchange fund SPDR Gold Trust fell this week to the lowest level since early 2009.
Since the beginning of the year such funds decreased by 734 tons of gold. A volatility lately is such that the investment in it is not perceived as a conservative, but as risky.
The outflow of client funds is observed from the majority of ETF (exchange traded funds), investment return of which is focused on gold. The assets under the management of these funds decreased since the beginning of the year from 1889 to 734 tons.
Decline in investor interest in gold happens in low price volatility. Yesterday, the value of the precious metal fell by 0.4% to close at $ 1,334.3 per troy ounce. Also, the past three months the gold is trading in a range of $ 1280-1400 per ounce.
Perhaps now is the approximate equilibrium level corresponding to the expectations of investors regarding the movement of U.S. interest rates.
However, at present investors are oppressed by the sharp depreciation of the metal in the first half of the year. Even with the ten percent growth in the third quarter, from the beginning of the year the price of gold fell by 20% to $ 1,290 an ounce.
Last time the metal so rapidly depreciated in late 1981 - early 1982: in those times prices fell by 25% to $ 320 per ounce. Investing in gold during last two years is not very successful, so that now the average investor at the earliest opportunity is trying to close a position, and not create a new one.
Gold is no longer perceived as a defensive asset, because in terms of volatility and market risks it is more looks like a speculative bet. At the same, a rate in perspective is expensive, as the expected rate of return, taking into account the volatility, is not cover the opportunity cost of invested funds - for example, in the form of coupons on bonds, dividends, or the cost of funding.
By the way, it is very possible that those who had previously invested in gold, have now moved to the Forex due to more flexible conditions in this market.