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Europe and Japan equity funds extend record start to year

Year-to-date inflows for EPFR Global-tracked Japan and Europe equity funds pushed past the USD9bn and USD17bn marks respectively during the second week of February as both fund groups maintained their record setting start to 2014.

With equity markets in both developed and some emerging markets rebounding, flows into US equity funds bounced back and redemptions from emerging markets equity funds ran at half the levels seen during the previous two weeks.
Overall, equity funds posted collective net inflows of USD11.5bn for the week ending 12 February while bond funds took in USD4.72bn and money market funds USD16.7bn. Dividend equity funds posted back-to-back weekly outflows for the first time since early September as their attraction continues to wane despite further performance gains.
At the country level it was another good week for UK, Italy and Spain equity funds but flows into Spain bond funds fell to a 23 week low. Among the country fund groups dedicated to emerging markets Turkey and Vietnam equity funds extended their current inflow streak and Mexico equity funds posted their biggest weekly inflow since late November. But investors pulled over USD500m out of Brazil bond funds and redemptions from China bond funds were the largest since late 2Q13.
Commodities sector funds, which were pounded in both flows and performance terms last year, extended their current thaw with net inflows of USD492m for the week. That represented their largest inflow and their first back-to-back weekly inflow since late September. They did, however, hand the YTD crown for best performing sector fund group back to last year’s winner, healthcare/biotechnology sector funds.
Flows into Europe equity funds again favoured funds with broad, regional mandates. But country fund groups dedicated to the so-called PIIGS (Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain) markets continue to lead the way in percent of AUM terms, with Italy and Spain equity funds both taking in the equivalent of over two per cent of AUM during the week and over nine per cent YTD.

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