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Hopes for trade and Brexit shape Christmas flows

EPFR-tracked UK Equity Funds extended their current inflow streak to 11 weeks and $6.5 billion during the week ending on Christmas day as investors responded to the ruling Conservative Party’s pledge to swiftly wrap up the country’s exit from the European Union before the current, third extension expires at the end of January. Hopes an initial trade deal between China and the US will be signed in the next three weeks, meanwhile, kept the money rolling into Emerging Markets Equity and Bond Funds which took in a net $4.2 billion between them. That took their combined total over the past two weeks to $12.1 billion.

Although hopes for peace on the Sino-US trade front helped to lift US equity indexes to fresh record highs, US Equity Funds posted their biggest outflow in over a year despite only the second retail inflow since late 2Q17.

Overall, the week ending Dec. 25 saw EPFR-tracked Equity Funds experience net redemptions of $14.4 billion, with Dividend Equity Funds posting their biggest outflow since mid-March. Investors also pulled $167 million out of Alternative Funds and $17 billion out of Money Market Funds while steering $740 million into Balanced Funds and another $10.8 billion into Bond Funds. Once again, Equity Funds with socially responsible (SRI) or environmental, social and governance (ESG) mandates swam against the tide, adding another $2 billion to their year-to-date total.

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