Exchange traded funds' gold stash swells to record 3,185 tonnes - WGC

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - Holdings of gold by exchange traded funds (ETFs) rose in March to a record high of 3,185 tonnes, worth $165 billion, the World Gold Council said on Wednesday, as the coronavirus outbreak revs up demand for the metal.

Gold is traditionally seen as a safe haven asset in times of turmoil. Prices were already rising as the global economy slowed and in March reached their highest since 2012.

An ounce now costs $1,650, up from around $1,500 at the start of the year.

ETFs store gold mainly for financial investors in Europe and North America such as asset managers and hedge funds.

They added 151 tonnes in March and 298 tonnes over the first three months of 2020, their fastest quarterly stock build since 2016, according to the WGC, which tracks 135 ETFs and owns the biggest, SPDR Gold Shares. (Reporting by Peter Hobson Editing by David Holmes)