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Bond Funds kick off 2020 with record inflows

A single swallow does not make a summer, nor does a single week establish a flow trend. But, after a year when Bond and Money Market Funds both set new annual inflow records while Developed Markets Equity Funds experienced record setting redemptions despite their strong overall performance, 2020 started with Bond Funds setting a new weekly inflow record and Money Market Funds absorbing over $45 billion. Developed Markets Equity Funds, meanwhile, posted their second outflow in the past three weeks.

Within the fixed income universe tracked by EPFR, US Bond Funds posted their biggest inflow since 1Q15 and Canada Bond Funds on record. At the asset class level, Municipal Bond Funds also set a new inflow mark while Bank Loan Funds snapped a redemption streak stretching back to mid-4Q18.

Investors showed more conviction at the sector level, with 10 of the 11 major groups attracting fresh money. The last time that happened was the second week of October and, before that, 1Q16.

Overall, the week ending January 8 saw Bond Funds take in a net $22.5 billion and Money Market Funds $47.2 billion while investors redeemed $93 million from Alternative Funds and $206 million from Balanced Funds. Despite the 11th consecutive weekly inflow for Emerging Markets Equity Funds and the 53rd in a row for funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates, Equity Funds collectively recorded a modest outflow.

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