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Risk aversion spreads rapidly in late February

Oil prices plunged and equity markets corrected sharply during the fourth week of February as the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus continued to cast a shadow over the outlook for global economic growth. Mutual fund investors, whose initial reaction to the epidemic was measured, responded more aggressively to the latest market signals. Outflows from all EPFR-tracked Equity Funds climbed to a 22-week high while, on the fixed income side, redemptions from Bank Loan, High Yield Bond and Alternative Funds hit 39, 54 and 70-week highs respectively.

Overall, the week ending February 26 saw a net $19.3 billion flow out of Equity Funds, $1.4 billion from Money Market Funds, $1.5 billion from Balanced Funds and $1.9 billion from Alternative Funds, Flows into Bond Funds were positive for the 60th week in a row as year-to-date inflows for this group climbed past the $165 billion mark.

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