Dec 4 (Reuters) - Investors returned to a popular exchange-traded fund tracking gold in November, as prices of the yellow metal scaled a record high on growing hopes that the Federal Reserve will ease monetary policy in 2024.

The $57.8 billion SPDR Gold Shares ETF posted net inflows of over $1 billion in November, as gold prices rallied on expectations that the Federal Reserve could start cutting interest rates as early as March.

This was the strongest month of inflows for the SPDR gold fund since March 2022, snapping a five month streak of outflows.

The fund ended November 2.5% higher, but was down 2.2% on Monday.

Meanwhile, spot gold hit a fresh record high earlier in the day, before falling over 2% as the U.S. dollar bounced back.

"Most people are fairly bullish on gold," said Aniket Ullal, head of ETF data and analytics at CFRA.

The surge follows a decline in

U.S. Treasury yields

from 16-year highs in October, as signs of cooling inflation stoke bets the Fed will ease monetary policy. Falling yields tend to bolster the allure of gold - a non-yield-bearing asset.

At the same time,

the U.S. dollar

has fallen 3.5% from its year-high in early October. A weakening dollar can help buoy commodities, which are priced in the U.S. currency and become more affordable to foreign buyers when the greenback declines.

"If the dollar strength moderates that would help gold," Ullal said.

The SPDR fund is up nearly 11% so far this year, lagging the near 20% gains on the U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index.

Among some other ETFs tracking gold, the $26 billion iShares Gold Trust had net outflows of $388.5 million in November, while the $6.2 billion SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust had net monthly inflows of $23.6 million. (Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ira Iosebashvili and Richard Chang)