The number of people interested in buying gold appears to have dwindled to an 11-year low, according to data from Google Trends.
Analysis from the search engine giant shows the lowest monthly volumes for the phrase ‘buy gold’ since July 2007, the eve of the financial crisis.
Furthermore, first-time investing in the precious metal has fallen to a four-year low according to BullionVault, the West London-based bullion exchange.
Sold gold: Data from BullionVault suggests there has been a rise in profit-taking on the precious metal
The number of people using the online gold, silver and platinum market for the first time was well below average last month. It amounted to just 57.2 per cent of the monthly average across the last five years – a level not seen since 2014.
Profit-taking in gold has also continued among its existing customer base for a second month running, it says.
It revealed that its clients liquidated 85kg as a group after selling 98kg in April.
That pulled total client holdings – vaulted securely in each user’s choice of London, New York, Singapore, Toronto or Zurich – down 0.5 per cent from March’s all-time record high of 38.8 tonnes.
BullionVault’s data also shows the number of people starting or increasing their gold holdings in May rose 12.1 per cent from April, which marked the lowest total since January 2016.
The number of sellers across May meanwhile rose 22.8 per cent to a four-month high.
The price of gold has dropped in recent weeks and currently sits at $1,298 an ounce, levels last seen at the end of 2017.
Adrian Ash, BullionVault director of research, said: ‘The gold price is often seen as a barometer of fear and financial stress, and it has responded to 2018’s stock market drops and geopolitical tensions.
‘Contrary to “safe haven” headlines however, the appetite for gold is in fact weakening among private investors overall, with the number of new buyers falling to multi-year lows.
‘The rise in gold prices has invited profit-taking by more active traders and also by investors who bought lower down and waited.
‘Whether sellers are switching into equities or perhaps cryptocurrencies, the complacency which the lack of new interest suggests about the broader market outlook might offer a contrarian signal for investors considering an allocation to gold as financial insurance.’
Whatcoin? After a surge of interest in December and January, interest in bitcoin has dropped drastically according to Google Trends
It is not just gold that seems to have had a wane in interest. Cryptocurrencies also appear to have had a crash when it comes to online searches.
Bitcoin, the most familiar of the digital currencies, has seen it price stabilise since the huge peak before Christmas.
In the last three months, it has stayed within the $9,000 to $6,500 region. It currently sits at $7,690, with many perhaps holding onto the currency after investing in that near $20,000 peak in December 2017.
Data from Google Trends suggests that online searches for bitcoin have fallen dramatically in recent months.
Searches for bitcoin have fallen 90 per cent since mid-December and 75 per cent from January.
Meanwhile data for This is Money from Hitwise – which looks at all the different search engines, not just Google – shows an 83 per cent decrease in the number of searches for bitcoin since the start of the year.