Investors dumped gold funds at the fastest pace in two years in favor of equities, compounding a slump that has wiped $560 billion from the value of central-bank reserves.
Gold funds suffered net outflows of $11.2 billion this year through April 10, the most since 2011, while global and U.S. equity funds had net inflows of $21.25 billion, according to EPFR Global.
Central banks are among the biggest losers because they own 31,694.8 metric tons, or 19 percent of all the gold mined, according to the World Gold Council in London.
“There’s a perception that risk has been lessened, and with that, investors are looking for assets that either generate income or have growth potential, neither of which gold has,” Anthony Valeri, a market strategist with LPL Financial, which oversees $350 billion. “We’ve seen a grab for yield, and without a yield, gold has been left out.”
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The metal’s appeal as a hedge against inflation has been eroded partly by the slowing rise in consumer prices even after five years of government stimulus.
The cost of living in the U.S. fell 0.2 percent in March, the first drop in four months, Labor Department data released this past week showed. Inflation expectations as measured by the break-even rate for five-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) reached the lowest since Jan. 2.