Though the performances of U.S. equity funds and global equity funds were almost identical, their flows diverged widely in the first quarter. Even U.S.-focused funds suffered near record outflows, while funds focused outside the U.S. attracted plenty of fresh cash, according to TrimTabs research.
U.S. equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds lost $63.3 billion last quarter, the second-highest quarterly outflow on record. U.S. equity ETFs issued just $11.3 billion, the second-lowest inflow in the past eight quarters, while U.S. equity mutual fund outflows remained relentless, totaling $74.6 billion.
Global equity funds had strong inflows for a fourth consecutive quarter–a three-quarter high of $63.9 billion–even though they didn’t significantly outperform their U.S.-focused counterparts. Global equity funds were down 0.5% on average, while U.S. equity funds declined 0.7%.
Demand for bond funds was heavy despite continuing losses. Retail investors dominated the buying. Bond MFs received $61.8 billion, commensurate with recent quarters, but bond ETF inflows dropped to $13.5 billion, the lowest level in five quarters.
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