Private investors added physical gold following the metal’s heavy sell off late in February, underpinning a market hit hard by heavy fund liquidation last month, a survey by BullionVault showed on Tuesday.
London-based BullionVault, an online physical gold and silver market for individual investors, said its Gold Investor Index dipped to 54.4 in February from 54.9 in January. February’s figure marked the lowest reading since September 2012.
A number above 50 indicates more buyers than sellers. While net buying by the firm’s mostly buy-and-hold type customer is seen as bullish, net selling might suggest individual retail investors are exiting the gold trade.
The survey stood in sharp contrast to unprecedented selling by institutional investors in gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs). SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s No. 1 gold ETF, finished February with a record monthly outflow of 73.6 tonnes.
“During the rebound, we saw our customers come back to buy, so the public were taking advantage of those real lows and they continued to watch for the dips,” said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of BullionVault.