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With US rate cut in the bag, focus shifts back to trade

Mutual fund investors got a rate cut for Halloween. Will they get a Sino-US trade deal for Thanksgiving? Hopes of an end to the bruising trade war rose during the first week of November, propelling US benchmark indexes to new record highs and the Euro Stoxx 50 to levels last seen in 1Q18.

Fund flows during the first week of November reflected this optimism, with US Equity Funds chalking up their third inflow in the past four weeks and Asia ex-Japan Equity Funds posting consecutive weekly inflows for the first time since early July while Emerging Markets Bond and Equity Funds both attracted fresh money. Funds with diversified global mandates were the biggest beneficiaries of this shift in sentiment: Global Bond Funds recorded their third largest inflow year-to-date and Global Equity Funds their biggest since the fourth week of 2018.

Overall, the week ending Nov. 6 saw EPFR-racked Equity Funds pull in a net $16.7 billion, although the recent pick-up in flows to Dividend Equity Funds stumbled, and Bond Funds absorbed $10.6 billion. Investors also committed $197 million to Balanced Funds, $355 million to Alternative Funds and $52.3 billion to Money Market Funds.

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