Funds News

US gold coin sales surge as investors flee risk

 * Eagles sales 41,500 so far in May, surpasses normal pace
 * Blanchard: Thursday was biggest gold sales day in 2010
 NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. gold coin sales surged
this week as the anxiety over a euro-zone debt crisis spilled
over into the United States and as Thursday's sudden Wall
Street collapse shook investors.
 The U.S. Mint sold gold coins this week at twice its normal
pace, and a leading retailer said Thursday was a record day.
 Physical gold products such as coins and bars are
traditionally a safe haven for anxious investors in times of
economic and geopolitical crises. On Friday, U.S. stocks turned
negative for the year on fears of another credit crisis.
 For a graphic of American Eagle 1-ounce gold coins sales,
 For a graphic of tonnage growth in SPDR Gold Trust, click:
 Gold coin and bar dealers also said investors are turning
to gold coins to protect their nest eggs from financial market
 "Yesterday was our biggest day of the year in terms of
investors buying gold," said David Beahm, vice president of
marketing at top U.S. retail gold coins dealer Blanchard & Co.
 "There is no question that the meltdown in the paper assets
yesterday was a huge case for diversification."
 Beahm said he suggested investors buy more liquid one-ounce
coins, particularly the American Eagles, South Africa's
Krugerrands, and the Canadian Maples Leaf gold coins.
 "As long as it's physical gold in your portfolio, you are
protected," he added.
 On Friday, the U.S. Mint said sales of the most popular
American Eagle one-ounce gold coins totaled 41,500 ounces so
far in the first week of May, compared to 60,500 ounces in the
entire month of April.
 Investors also piled into gold exchange traded funds, which
back their shares by buying physical bullion and keeping them
in their vaults.
 Bullion holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world's
biggest gold ETF, said its holdings rose nearly 20 tonnes on
Thursday, the biggest one-day gain since February 2009.
 (Reporting by Frank Tang; Editing by David Gregorio)