Retail investors are keeping a floor on prices for gold, silver and platinum with their increasing purchases of shares of exchange-traded products (ETPs) backed by precious metals.
In the case of gold, that retail support is keeping the yellow metal's price about 25 percent higher than when the year started.
It also plays a significant role in gold's current technical support level at $1,774.21 as well as its secondary support level of $1,763.11. With gold for immediate delivery at $1,779.12 in morning trading, the metal has risen 25 percent this year from its Jan. 1 level of $1,420.70.
For the seven days ended last Friday, holdings of gold ETPs rose by 810,000 ounces to 76.7 million ounces. The overwhelming share of those inflows was for GLD, the world's top ETF backed by physical gold.
On a rolling month-to-month basis, gold ETP inflows last week rose 2 million ounces from the previous week's gains of 1.35 million ounces.
So far this month, gold's ETP holdings have risen 28 metric tons, more than the net inflow of the entire month of October, UBS said.
The net inflow for s ETPs is up by 46 metric tons so far this month and platinum ETP inflows this month climbed 9,552 troy ounces.
Palladium is the only precious metal that has had a net outflow of ETP holdings so far this month.