by Steve Saville, The Speculative Investor
An increase in the amount of gold bullion held by GLD (the SPDR Gold Shares) and other bullion ETFs does not cause the gold price to rise. The cause-effect works the other way around and in any case the amount of gold that moves in/out of the ETFs is always trivial compared to the metal’s total trading volume. However, it is reasonable to view the change in GLD’s gold inventory as a sentiment indicator.
Ironically, an increase in the amount of physical gold held by GLD and the other gold ETFs is indicative of increasing speculative demand for “paper gold”, not physical gold. As I’ve explained in the past (for example, HERE), physical gold only ever gets added to GLD’s inventory when the price of a GLD share (a form of “paper gold”) outperforms the price of gold bullion.