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Flows to SRI/ESG Equity Funds stumble in early August as investors remain on the defensive

Fund flows during the first week of August largely followed the pattern of late July as investors kept their heads down while they digested earnings reports and waited to see what kind of fiscal package will emerge from a divided US Congress. US Bond Funds posted their 18th consecutive inflow, flows to Money Market Funds were positive for the fourth time in the past five weeks and both Japan Equity and Gold Funds attracted solid amounts of fresh money while Emerging Markets Equity Funds posted their 24th outflow in the past 25 weeks and US Equity Funds their sixth in the past seven weeks.

Equity Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates posted a rare outflow. It is only their second since the beginning of last year and comes as the growing focus on the SRI/ESG theme has intensified the debate over the right definitions, criteria and standards for funds operating in this space. Year-to-date the SRI/ESG Equity and Bond Funds tracked by EPFR have attracted over $100 billion.

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