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ETF Specialist

SPDR Gold Shares Becomes World's Largest ETF

Assets continue to pile into the gold bullion ETF, while they flow out of the S&P 500 ETF.

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With continued weakness in U.S. equity markets and investors continuing to flock to safe havens such as precious-metals commodities, the crown of the largest exchange-traded fund has passed for the first time to  SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) from  SPDR S&P 500 (SPY). While the changing of the guard may be temporary, it highlights investor interest in nontraditional asset classes.

Morningstar data show that prior to Monday's market open, GLD had $76.67 billion in assets to SPY's $74.38 billion. The fund, which issues shares backed by physical bullion, has benefited both from rising gold prices and increased inflows, while the opposite dynamics--falling equity prices and investors heading for the exits--have befallen SPY. Concerns over sovereign debt--both in the United States and in Europe--haven't helped matters.

Robert Goldsborough does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.

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