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GLD Battles to Keep Spot Among Largest ETFs


Global exchange traded funds hauled in $44.1 billion in new assets last month, according to recent data from BlackRock, but it was another month of multi-billion dollar outflows for gold funds. Investors withdrew $2.6 billion from gold ETFs in July following redemptions of $4.3 billion in June, said BlackRock.

Year-to-date outflows from commodities ETFs and ETNs rested at $31.6 billion, indicating it has been brutal year from the start for commodities ETFs in terms of asset retention. Among the 10 worst offenders when it comes to lost assets in this year, there are two gold ETFs, including the SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) . GLD occupies the “top” spot on that dubious list with 2013 redemptions of $19.8 billion, according to BlackRock. [What The Flows Show: July Was No June]

GLD, once the second-largest ETF in the world behind the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) , has now fallen to the fifth spot among U.S. ETFs and its grasp on that spot looks tenuous. At the end of July, GLD was just $2.1 billion ahead of the PowerShares QQQ (QQQ) , according to Index Universe data. The problem is, for GLD at least, the two funds are going in opposite directions. [Rising Gold Prices Don't Stem ETF Outflows]

QQQ is performing well as investors embrace biotechnology, Internet and technology stocks, sub-sectors that helped the ETF rake in almost $1.25 billion last month. If QQQ and GLD offer a July sequel this month, by Labor Day, QQQ will be the fifth-largest ETF in the U.S. while GLD will be fighting the with iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) for the sixth spot.

EEM and the rival Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF (VWO) are also among the 10 worst ETFs for year-to-date redemptions with $7.9 billion and $2.9 billion, respectively, though both saw inflows last month.

Over the past 30 days, QQQ has been the top PowerShares ETF in terms of inflows, but year-to-date, QQQ has only attracted $1 for roughly $8 brought in by the PowerShares Senior Loan Portfolio (BKLN) .

SPDR Gold Shares

ETF Trends editorial team contributed to this post. Tom Lydon’s clients own shares of GLD, EEM, SPY and QQQ.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.