Gold wins in February as fund flows surge

Gold is on track to be the best performing asset class in February, surging almost 10 percent over the month as safe haven and exchange-traded fund (ETF) flows bolster the commodity.

The yellow metal is up around 9.8 percent in February so far, and is on course for its biggest monthly gain since January 2012. With a 16 percent rally in prices so far this year, it is also this year's best performing asset.

An employee arranges one kilogram gold bars for a photograph at the YLG Bullion International Co. headquarters in Bangkok, Thailand
Dario Pignatelli | Getty Images

Spot gold was up around 0.7 percent at $1,231 per troy ounce on Monday afternoon having hit a one-year high of $1,260 earlier this year.

Holdings in exchange-traded funds have risen to the highest level in almost 17 months, gaining 3.9 tonnes to 1,682.6 tonnes on Friday, the highest level since October 2014, according to data from Investec.

Demand for gold has seen the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold ETF, rise to around 762 tonnes on Friday, around a year-high.

"Precious metals saw very large inflows over the last month as negative rates and the prospect of a more dovish (U.S. Federal Reserve) make this zero-income safe haven asset more attractive," said strategist at UBS, Ramin Nakisa.

ETF investors are not the only ones backing the precious metal, with hedge fund managers upping bullish bets on U.S. COMEX to a 12-month high, according to data released by the Commodity Future Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday for the week ending February 23.