Global ETP flows in April were fueled by Fixed Income…
April industry flows of $35.4bn doubled in comparison to $17.7bn in March as flows into Fixed Income funds accelerated and U.S. equity flows turned positive after two months of outflows
Global fixed income flows during April reached $17.3bn – a ten-month high diversified across U.S. Treasuries with 6.6bn, investment grade corporate with $3.2bn and broad multi-sector funds with $3.0bn
U.S. equities added $6.9bn compared to the redemption activity of ($7.1bn) from last month amid a strong U.S. earnings season
Gold flows scaled to $2.9bn – the highest since July 2016 – indicating demand for perceived safe-haven categories alongside the U.S. Treasury flows mentioned above.
Monthly net flow into EMEA-listed ETPs numbers $1.4B, with commodities leading the way Key themes this month:
Flows into commodity ETPs led the inflows in April, with $1.7B added over the course of the month, the highest level of buying since February 2017.
The majority of flows went into gold where $1B of assets were gathered. Ongoing trade tensions and mixed equity market sentiment led to a spike in gold inflows, which reached the highest level since August 2016. Geopolitical events also drove a flight to safe haven assets in 2016.
Broad commodity ETPs continued to be in demand, gathering $686m in April. Money has been going into EMEA-listed broad commodity ETPs each month this year, which has been supported by the uptick in the commodity price and continuously strong global growth.
It’s not US, its EU
EMEA-listed equity ETPs lost $1.9B in April, with the outflows mainly coming from European equity ETPs, which lost $4.3B. This is the largest month of selling in European equities since September 2014.
European equity ETPs have been increasingly unpopular since March, when $2.4B flowed out. A wave of mixed eurozone macro data, combined with stronger earnings expectations for the US relative to Europe, appear to have reduced investor confidence in European equities.
US equities, on the other hand, have had inflows for 12 consecutive months, for the first time since 2014. Strong earnings expectations, as well as consistently robust macroeconomic data – which have both been boosted by US fiscal stimulus – have made the region attractive in 2018.
Rising interest in rates
Fixed income flows returned to positive territory in April, as $1.5B flowed into EMEA-listed ETPs. Emerging market debt and investment grade ETPs continued to be unpopular, with outflows totalling $475m.
Government bond ETPs remained the most popular within fixed income for a third consecutive month, gathering $1.5B of inflows.
Within rates, money once again went towards short duration ETPs (+$539m). The short end of the curve looks appealing to investors given the opportunity to get yield above inflation levels and, at the same time, hide in safe havens amidst jittery market sentiment.