Holdings in the 14 largest gold ETPS have plunged 31% to 1,813 metric tons YTD, according to Bloomberg, the first annual decrease since the funds started trading in 2003. The median guess of a Bloomberg survey of analysts calls for another 311 tons to be withdrawn in 2014.
“Why would you want to hold gold and see the value depreciate when you can buy equities and see your money grow," asks wealth manager Jeff Sica, providing a locker-room quote for the gold bulls.
Taking the other side is Commerzbank head of commodities research Eugen Weinberg, who says the "weak hands" are already out of the market, and inflows and price stabilization should return in Q2.
Gold is higher by 0.8% today to $1,244.50 per ounce.