The first half of 2008 has hit the world’s developed markets (United States, Japan and Western Europe) hard, with more than $100 billion in outflows, according to the Boston-based research group EPFR Global, which tracks funds with some $10 trillion in assets. U.S. funds had more than $58 billion in outflows, while West European funds lost $41 billion.
According to Lipper, the largest U.S. stock market indexes were down by as much as 14.44 percent during the first half of 2008 through June 26. By contrast, Japan’s Nikkei 225 index declined 11.93 percent, but it actually rose 7.63 percent in the second quarter.
Lipper’s Q208 Wrap-Upo In June, equity funds suffered their worst one-month decline (-7.50%) since September 2002.o The average fund declined 9.86% for the six-month period ended June 30, 2008.o With the skyrocketing price of oil and other commodities, natural-resources funds (+24.50%) and commodities funds (+19.51%) topped the quarter’s charts.
Source: Lipper/Reuters, July 2008
“In the first half of this year the outflows from U.S., Europe and Japan equity funds have been staggering as investors pulled out nearly $105 billion — by far the worst six-month period for these funds that we’ve ever seen,” says EPFR Global Managing Director Brad Durham. “But in the second quarter Japan funds have come back into favor and finished the quarter posting eight straight weeks of net inflows even as global markets were crumbling. And the Middle East and Africa equity funds have kept their astounding inflow record spotless by attracting investor inflows every week this year.”