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Popularity of investing in gold surges

LONDON, February 6, 2009 – Investors are increasingly turning to gold-backed assets to seek security in the economic downturn, new data showed.

According to figures from the world’s largest gold-backed Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), the SPDR Gold Trust, holdings rose 7.7 tonnes from the previous day to a record 867.19 tonnes, worth an all-time high $25.45 billion as of February 5, 2009.

The holdings were up 11.1 percent from 780.23 tonnes at the start of 2009.

“In our view, rapidly growing ETF holdings are a clear sign of safe haven buying of gold,” UBS strategist John Reade said in a note this week.

“This is the dominant factor in the gold market at present.”

Investors are struggling to find high-performing assets due to the global economic slowdown, and analysts say gold can be an appealing alternative in uncertain times to assets such as shares and property.