Investors flocked to commodities-based, exchange traded funds in the first quarter of this year driven by optimism about global economic growth and a stabilization of the euro zone debt crisis, according to a new report.
Inflows into commodity ETPs, exchange traded products, rose $7.5 billion during the first quarter to a record $189 billion, according to ETF Securities' "Global Commodity ETP Quarterly" report, which tracks more than 1,700 listings of exchange traded funds, notes and trusts.
"There are real fundamental factors driving the trends," said Nicholas Brooks, head of research and investment strategy for ETFS.
The report showed investors clearly preferred metals, from gold to platinum to copper, over agricultural commodities.
Inflows into gold($3.6 billion) edged out those into non-precious metals ($3.1 billion), with copper ($248 million) notching its strongest quarter ever.
Though copper is now seen by some as an excellent economic barometer because of its wide use in manufacturing and infrastructure, Brooks said the increased inflows show, "supply is also a concern."