US commodity inflows fall in Oct; gold stays strong-Lipper
* Commodity inflows drop on fears of slowing growth * Gold/precious metals inflows alone up for a third month * SPRD ETF takes in more than half of precious metals' money By Barani Krishnan Nov 14 (Reuters) - The monthly money flow into U.S. commodity products and funds fell by a fifth in October as investors veered off risk on fears over slowing global growth, but interest in gold funds remained strong, data from funds tracker Lipper showed on Wednesday. Gold and other precious metals dominated investments in commodities for a third straight month, due to their perceived safe haven status, October figures for Lipper showed. A net inflow of nearly $1.7 billion was noted across some 230 U.S.-regulated commodity products and funds last month, versus a September figure of nearly $2.2 billion, according to Lipper, a Thomson Reuters company. The decline came amid fears that growth in No. 2 economy China was slowing, and Europe's debt crisis was escalating as Greece and Spain struggled to make citizens agree to stricter austerity measures that would allow them to seek for more euro zone aid. Lipper data showed investors pulling money in October from general commodity funds such as those run by PIMCO, the giant U.S. bond manager, and adding to their portfolios positions in precious metals. Analysts said industrial commodities such as oil and copper were deemed riskier in a slowing economy to shiny metals like gold, silver and platinum, which were seen as a better store of value and more easily saleable for cash. In August, investors seeking to hedge against currency weakening from a forthcoming U.S. economic stimulus piled into gold, taking inflows in commodities to a six-month high, Lipper data showed. September marked another strong month for precious metals, with the sector accounting for three-quarters of inflows. Last month, the net money that went into gold and other precious metals funds amounted to $1.4 billion, or 85 percent of net inflows, according to Lipper. The October rush into gold came as bullion prices hit 11-month highs above $1,795 an ounce early in the month, before falling below $1,700 on profit-taking as November approached. SPDR Gold Shares, the world's largest exchange-traded fund (ETF) for gold -- took nearly $900 million of the $1.4 billion that went into precious metals last month. In September, SPDR took in $1.74 billion, or about three-quarters of all net inflows. The ETF with the second largest inflow last month was iShares Gold Trust. It attracted nearly $500 million, versus September's $610 million. The biggest outflow for October - about $433 million - was from the Pimco Commodities Real Return Strategy Fund for institutional investors. Total net asset value for all the U.S. commodity products and funds tracked by Lipper fell to about $172 billion from September's level of around $178 billion. Lipper's data typically does not include fund holdings of over-the-counter indexes, or direct investment in futures, or physical commodities, or hedge funds. Its historical data also includes only funds currently in operation. The products and funds it tracks invest in physical commodities or derivatives and not in corporate securities.
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