Physical gold buying among private investors surged in April as they took advantage of bargain prices after bullion's historic sell-off, a survey by BullionVault showed on Tuesday.
BullionVault is an online physical gold and silver market for more than 47,000 self-directed individual investors, it said.
The company said its Gold Investor Index rose to 58.6 in April, its highest level in 16 months. In March, the gauge fell for a third consecutive month to 53.3.
A number above 50 indicates more buyers than sellers. While net buying by the firm's mostly buy-and-hold type customers is seen as bullish, net selling might suggest individual retail investors are exiting the gold trade.
"The difference between the fast money of speculators and self-directed investors couldn't be any more obvious," said Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of BullionVault.
"It is apparent that the private investor was waiting for the right opportunity to get in," he said.
Gold's historic sell-off last month has intensified a disconnect between funds that sold on dissatisfaction over bullion's underperformance and individual investors who could not get enough physical gold coins and bars at bargain prices.