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BlackRock stops issuing new shares in physical gold ETF due to demand
[NEW YORK] BlackRock Inc said on Friday it has suspended issuing shares in its physically backed gold exchange traded fund (ETF) after a historic surge in buying as global economic uncertainty has rekindled bullion's safe-haven appeal among investors.
iShares Gold Trust (IAU) has seen its assets under management surge by US$1.4 billion to US$8 billion since the start the year. February marked the biggest spurt of demand in the decade, it said.
Holdings in major gold ETFs have surged 20 per cent since the start of the year, hitting almost 48 million ounces this week, their highest since September 2014.
While the move appears to be an isolated case, it illustrates the voracious demand for bullion as economic uncertainty, a weak dollar and falling expectations for US interest rate hikes have spurred the biggest buying spree of gold ETFs in five years and helped prices rally to their highest in 13 months.
The suspension will last until the company has registered additional shares with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it said.