Investors expressed their relief that the first round of the French presidential election put only one, not two, Euro-skeptic populists on the second-round ballot in no uncertain terms during the fourth week of April. EPFR Global-tracked Equity Funds collectively posted their biggest weekly inflow since mid-December and Europe Equity Funds since 4Q15.
Investors were further energized (and sometimes baffled) by a flurry of activity from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration as it closed in on the 100 days in office mark. This activity included the bones of a plan for reforming the U.S. tax code, signals that U.S. membership of NAFTA is under review and the announcement of new tariffs on Canadian lumber. Flows into U.S. Equity, Balanced and Bond Funds all rebounded during the week ending April 26.
Overall, investors committed $21 billion to Equity Funds while Bond Funds absorbed nearly $11 billion and Money Market Funds a net $9.6 billion. The week also saw the assets held by all EPFR Global-tracked ETFs touch the $4 trillion mark as the broad rotation from active to passive management rumbles on.
At the asset class level, flows into Bank Loan Funds hit a seven-week high while Inflation Protected Bond Funds posted consecutive weekly outflows for the first time since early December. Among single country fund groups, Japan Money Market Funds snapped their longest outflow streak since early 3Q16, France Equity Funds recorded their biggest weekly inflow in 27 weeks and redemptions from Spain Bond Funds hit their highest level in over 21 months.
Cameron Brandt is Director of Research for EPFR Global, an Informa Financial Intelligence company.