November 12, 2012

Bond Funds Top $400B in Flows

Equity funds see weaker flows, with close to $2.5 billion going to funds focused on emerging markets

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As investors focused on the so-called fiscal cliff and Eurzone issues, they poured record amounts into bond, money market and volatility funds in the week ended Nov. 7, according to EPFR Global.

The Boston-based research group says that investors put over $50 billion into money market funds and nearly $10 billion into bond funds. This means bond funds have seen over $400 billion in inflows year to date.

U.S. bond funds posted their biggest inflow since the second quarter, while global bond funds had their best week since mid-2Q11.

For the week, equity funds took in a net $1.12 billion, with dividend equity funds taking in the lion’s share “despite the implications that Obama’s victory has for their taxation” in the United States, EPFR notes.

Emerging market equity funds took in a $2.43 billion during the first week of November, when retail investors put in their highest level of such commitments to this group since mid-February.

As for China equity funds, this group extended its inflow streak to nine weeks and $3.2 billion. In contrast, interest in India equity funds remains weak.

Daily flows tracked by EPFR Global showed that some developed equity funds were winning over investors in the wake of Tuesday’s U.S. presidential election. But “that was not enough to offset earlier redemptions that resulted in US, Canada, Europe and Japan Equity Funds posting net outflows for the week ending Nov. 7,” the research group says.

Money moved out of large-cap funds and into mid-gaps, and growth-themed funds beat out their value counterparts.

At the same time, “redemptions from Europe-domiciled U.S. equity funds jumped to their highest level, in dollar terms on record and since mid-3Q11 in percentage of AUM terms,” according to EPFR Global.

Funds with a focus on the financial sector took in nearly $1 billion during the first week of November, and funds focused on consumer goods and the industrial sector had a good week, as well.

One of the more defensive fund groups, utilities sector funds, recorded their biggest inflow since the second week of May.

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