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Investors treading cautiously – if at all – in early August

What to make of a market where the response to fears of slowing global growth is a string of record highs in equity markets on both sides of the Atlantic? How best to position yourself when inflation in the US is, by some measures, at a 30-year high but the stock of global debt with negative interest rates recently hit a seven-month high? Where is the sweet spot when ‘green’ funds extend lengthy inflow streaks and the price of thermal coal hits levels last seen over a decade ago?

Faced with the need to reconcile these and other contradictory market signals, many investors opted to take a step back during the week ending August 4. Over half the $44 billion absorbed by all EPFR-tracked fund groups went to Money Market Funds. The headline number for Equity Funds, which have recorded inflows every week so far this year, was the fourth smallest year-to-date and Dividend Equity Funds saw their longest run of inflows since 1Q15 come to an end.




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