June gold-backed ETFs saw outflows in all regions except Europe: WGC

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) saw outflows in North America and Asia, but saw inflows in Europe during June as a strong U.S. dollar depressed gold prices, the World Gold Council said on Friday.

North American investors sold 44.4 tonnes of gold-backed ETFs worth $1.9 billion, compared with outflows of nearly 30 tonnes worth $1.2 billion in May.

The dollar, in which gold is priced, increased as investors sought safe havens in the greenback and U.S. Treasuries as global trade tensions mounted. Investors liquidated gold holdings to cover losses in equities, commodities and other markets that were falling due to the tariff disputes, traders said.

The expectation of higher U.S. interest rates made gold less attractive because the metal is a non interest-bearing asset.

Meanwhile, European gold-backed ETF inflows increased slightly by 0.5 tonnes worth $52.3 million, in June, up 0.1 percent from May. This was the third consecutive month of inflows in Europe, the World Gold Council data showed.

Reporting by Renita D. Young; Editing by David Gregorio