Investors Take A Breather, EPFR Global Says

Investors are taking a breather. In the week ending April 19, equity and bond fund groups were subdued. U.S. equity funds ([stock_quote symbol=”SPY” show=”symbol”]) posted outflows for the fourth time in five weeks and France ([stock_quote symbol=”EWQ” show=”symbol”]) equity funds sold for the eighth time in the past nine weeks, according to the fund trackers at EPFR Global. Even Japan ([stock_quote symbol=”EWJ” show=”symbol”]) saw back-to-back outflows for the first time since mid-November. Over $12 billion was cashed in from U.S. money market funds.

Are investors putting money under the mattress? Between European elections (and terrorist attacks in Paris on April 20) and North Korea threats to nuke San Francisco, geopolitics has everyone hitting the pause button right now.

All of the major EPFR Global-tracked developed markets equity funds struggled to attract fresh money during the third week of April, with geopolitical risks and the lack of progress on key policy goals by President Donald Trump’s administration sapping investor appetite for additional exposure, the Cambridge, Mass-based company said today.

Sector funds were muted as investors wait for first quarter earnings season to begin. Utilities ([stock_quote symbol=”XLU” show=”symbol”]) sector funds recorded the biggest inflows during the week ending April 19 while Healthcare ([stock_quote symbol=”XLV” show=”symbol”]) and Energy saw the largest outflows. Energy ([stock_quote symbol=”XLE” show=”symbol”]) funds have now recorded three straight weeks of net outflows. Expectations for first quarter earnings are high with Exxon ([stock_quote symbol=”XOM” show=”symbol”]) and Chevron ([stock_quote symbol=”CVX” show=”symbol”]) both reporting on April 28.

Note: the above tickers are for reference only and are not part of EPFR fund flow data.