Global equity funds post outflows for ninth week in a row

Reuters | January 6, 2023

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(Reuters) – Global equity funds witnessed net outflows for a ninth straight week in the seven days to Jan. 4 as investors remained cautious ahead of the release of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting minutes.

According to Refinitiv Lipper data, global equity funds recorded a net $15.42 billion worth of withdrawals, compared with just $791 million worth of disposals in the previous week.

Last year, investors pulled out $172 billion and $354 billion from global equity and bond funds, respectively, as U.S. interest rates marched higher due to monetary policy rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.

Though the minutes of the Fed meeting released this week showed that policymakers favoured a slower pace of hikes, concerns still linger over inflation as the U.S. job market remains tight.

U.S. equity funds suffered $20.72 billion worth of net selling, but investors bought European and Asian funds of $3.16 billion and $1.06 billion, respectively.

Among equity sector funds, tech, financials, and healthcare witnessed net selling of $710 million, $503 million and $415 million respectively.

Meanwhile, investors secured a net $5.28 billion worth of bond funds in their first weekly net buying since mid-August.

Short- and mid-term bond funds received a net $6.02 billion, marking their first weekly inflow in 20 weeks. Government bond funds also attracted $4.37 billion in inflows, but inflation- protected funds had outflows of $108 million.

Also, safer money market funds obtained about $113.37 billion in a second straight week of inflows.

Data for commodity funds showed precious metal and energy funds both received a marginal $54 million and $4 million worth of inflow, respectively, after facing outflows in the previous week.

According to data available for 24,528 emerging market (EM) funds, investors exited $901 million worth of equity funds in a second straight week of net selling but bond funds drew a net $954 million in inflows.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; editing by Philippa Fletcher)