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Oiling the wheels of inflation?

The final days of May and first two of June did little to help investors reconcile the tension between the US reflation story and signs that inflationary pressures are building in the world’s largest economy. With US President Joe Biden’s first budget proposal calling for an 18% jump from the current fiscal year’s budget to $6 trillion in FY22, with well over $1 trillion of that borrowed, and the price of oil hitting a one-year high the case for both outcomes received a boost during the week ending June 2.

Investors responded by adding to their exposure to US assets and boosting their inflation hedges. Flows into Commodities Sector Funds hit a 14-week high, the current inflow streak for Inflation Protected Bond Funds hit 28 weeks and $50 billion, US Equity Funds absorbed fresh money for the 10th straight week – their longest such run since EPFR started tracking them in 4Q00 – and US Bond Funds recorded their 60th inflow since the beginning of 2Q20.

Europe’s accelerating recovery currently offers a developed market rebound story with much lower inflation expectations. Europe Equity Funds extended their longest inflow streak since 4Q17 and Europe Bond Funds chalked up their 11th inflow in the past 12 weeks.

Overall, the week ending June 2 saw EPFR-tracked Equity Funds record a collective inflow of $14.7 billion. Alternative Funds pulled in $738 million, Balanced Funds $1.8 billion, Bond Funds $11.7 billion and Money Market Funds $16.2 billion.




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