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U.S.-based stock funds post $3.3 bln outflows in latest week - ICI
December 17, 2014 / 6:06 PM / 3 years ago

U.S.-based stock funds post $3.3 bln outflows in latest week - ICI

By Sam Forgione
    NEW YORK, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based mutual
funds pulled $3.3 billion out of stock funds in the week ended
Dec. 10 after a slump in oil prices raised concerns about the
U.S. stock market, data from the Investment Company Institute
showed on Wednesday. 
    The outflows were the biggest in eight weeks and marked the
fourth straight week of withdrawals, according to the data from
ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. Bond funds also
posted $3.3 billion in outflows, their first withdrawals in
seven weeks.
    Funds that specialize in U.S. stocks have accounted for the
total outflows from stock funds in each of the latest four
weeks, with the most recent outflows at roughly $5 billion. 
    Funds that specialize in international stocks attracted $1.7
billion, marking their strongest new demand in 10 weeks. Demand
has been strong, with the funds posting just one week of
outflows this year, according to ICI data. 
    Oil prices hit five-year lows over the weekly period and
dragged down U.S. and European energy shares. The benchmark S&P
500 stock index fell 2.3 percent over the period.
    "People are trying to gauge what the spillover from the
energy space will be on the stock market," said John Lueken,
chief investment strategist at CapWealth Advisors LLC in
Franklin, Tennessee. 
    Lueken said that while worries hurt demand for U.S. stocks,
investors likely continued to pour cash into
international-focused stock funds on bets that shares in regions
such as China, Japan, and Europe will benefit from looser
monetary policies.
    The drop in oil prices also raised concerns surrounding the
corporate debt of higher-yielding energy companies and likely
contributed to the outflows from bond funds, Lueken said. 
    Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income
securities, posted $2.4 billion in outflows, marking their
biggest withdrawals since November 2011. 
    The following table shows estimated ICI flows for the past
five weeks (all figures in millions of dollars):
                      12/10/14     12/3   11/25   11/19    11/12
 Total equity           -3,284   -2,673  -1,208  -2,998    1,483
    Domestic            -4,969   -2,946  -2,078  -3,620       64
    World                1,685      274     870     622    1,420
 Hybrid*                -2,383     -681    -133     100      963
 Total bond             -3,296      171   2,409   2,574    3,626
    Taxable             -4,401     -670   1,657   1,758    2,733
    Municipal            1,105      841     752     816      893
 Total                  -8,963   -3,182   1,069    -324    6,073
 *Hybrid funds can invest in stocks and/or fixed income
securities.

 (Editing by Grant McCool)

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