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Investors are buying gold bullion, but are selling silver

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Private investment in gold bullion continues to run positive this summer, but investors are taking profit on silver while the number of first-time buyers of precious metals remains at the lowest in a decade, new data from precious metals marketplace BullionVault shows.

The company’s Gold Investor Index tracks the number of people starting or growing their personal holding of securely vaulted gold against the number of people choosing to sell. Peaking at 65.9 as the Covid Crisis began in March 2020, it signals more buyers than sellers across the month with any reading above 50.0.

July saw the Gold Investor Index edge back 2.1 points to read 54.1 after hitting an 8-month high in June. But the Silver Investor Index in contrast fell 4.3 points to 48.3, its lowest reading since April 2023 with sellers outnumbering buyers for the 4th time in 9 months as the price of the more industrially-useful precious metal outpaces gains in its ‘safe haven’ cousin.

BullionVault director of research Adrian Ash explained: “Last time gold and silver attracted so few new buyers, both metals were mired in a deep bear market following the end of the global financial crisis. Today, in contrast, gold and silver are showing solid resilience against interest rates being raised to two-decade highs.”

Because physical bullion pays no yield, rising interest rates are dulling the appeal of precious metals for both private and professional investors right now, as does the surge in global stock markets.


The lack of investment inflows to gold and silver makes the underlying rise in bullion prices all the more notable, because it highlights the strength of jewelry and central-bank demand for gold as well as industrial demand for silver, led by the acceleration in solar-power installations.

Together, this strong consumer demand and the seemingly relentless bid for gold coming from emerging-market central banks has ensured a solid and rising floor for bullion prices so far this year. When investment demand does return, prices could quickly race higher, as this spring’s brief mini-crisis in the banking sector showed very plainly.

Gold investment demand eased off in July

Like the Gold Investor Index, gold investment demand by weight eased back in July, leaving BullionVault users’ total holdings virtually unchanged at a new record above 48.2 tonnes worth $3.0 billion (£2.3bn, €2.7bn, ¥425bn) following the strongest quarterly demand in two years between April and June.

Silver selling again outweighed demand however, reducing the total quantity belonging to BullionVault users by 7.0 tonnes to 1,244 tonnes – smaller by 1.8% from last October’s record high – worth $938 million (£753m, €881m, ¥136bn).

July’s rebound in gold and silver prices – up 4.3% and 12.7% respectively at last month’s peak in US Dollar terms compared to the lows in June (2.1% and 11.1% in UK Pounds, 2.1% and 9.3% in Euros, 2.7% and 11.5% in Japanese Yen) – continued to find only weak new interest outside of existing precious-metals investors.

The number of first-time bullion buyers fell for the 4th month in a row, down 18.9% worldwide from June’s count, which was already the fewest since April 2014.

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This article does not constitute investment advice. Make sure you do your own research or consult a professional advisor.

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