Amid a rise in gold prices globally and a downfall of the stock markets worldwide, assets of gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) registered the first monthly net inflow of the yellow metal in four months, a recent report by the World Council (WGC) has said. Gold holdings in gold-backed ETFs rose globally by 16.5 tonnes in October. According to the report,\u00a0gold benefited from flight-to-safety investment flows tracking the global stock markets, which experienced their worst October since the 2008 financial crisis. After months of declines, gold-backed ETFs registered increased inflows to both North American and European funds during October, as tumultuous equity markets triggered flight-to-quality buying, Reuters said on Tuesday citing the WGC report. Figures from the WGC report showed that while North American funds had inflows of $561 million, European funds posted inflows of $678 million in October. Remarkably, it was the first monthly inflow in four months for global gold-backed ETFs, as the price of gold rose 2.3%. Gold ETFs, or gold exchange-traded funds, are commodity ETFs that represent physical gold, which may be in paper or dematerialised form. Notably, global stock markets had their worst month (October) since the\u00a02008 financial crisis. During the month, the MSCI ll-World Index plunged by over 7.4%. The WGC report said gold benefited from flight-to-safety investment flows, as did US dollar-hedged gold in the stronger dollar risk-off environment, rallying 4.3% on October. Despite gold in US dollars being down 5.8%, the Solactive GLD Long USD Index is now effectively flat on the year, Reuters reported. North American gold-backed ETFs saw positive flows, led by inflows in US-listed funds and counterbalanced by softer outflows in Canadian funds. Europe's inflows were driven primarily by UK-listed funds, with nearly half the European inflows coming from currency-hedged funds. Chinese-listed funds had extreme flows across funds, resulting in outflows equivalent to 8% of assets.