July 18, 2018 / 5:30 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. mutual fund investors ditch equities despite S&P 500 gains -ICI

    By James Thorne
    NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. mutual fund investors
fled from stocks for the 14th straight week as ongoing trade war
fears divided markets, Investment Company Institute data showed
on Wednesday.
    Withdrawals from equity-focused long-term mutual funds
totaled $4.2 billion for the week ended July 11, ICI said.
    The bearish sentiment among mutual fund investors ran
counter to that of exchange-traded fund investors and the
broader market. Equity ETFs saw net inflows of $1 billion during
a seven-day period in which the S&P 500 added 2.24 percent.
    Markets rose for four days on strong economic news before
retracing some of the gains after Washington threatened to
impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese
goods and Beijing warned that it would hit back.
    Combined equity mutual fund and ETF withdrawals rose to a
total of$36.9 billion since mid-June.
    Ongoing investor demand for safety led to $7.4 billion in
deposits to bond funds, the 21st straight week of inflows for
the category.
    Tax-free municipal bond funds saw the strongest demand since
January, attracting $1 billion of investor cash, ICI data
showed. Taxable bonds added $6.4 billion, the largest net
deposit since April.
    Commodity funds broke a five-week trend of outflows with
$101 million in cash deposits.
    
    The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual
funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):
               7/11     7/3      6/27     6/20    6/13/18
 Equity        -3,155   -10,614  -17,948  -5,173  6,773
    Domestic   -1,546   -11,376  -12,535  -3,880  7,815
    World      -1,609   762      -5,413   -1,293  -1,042
 Hybrid        -1,048   -2,552   -1,134   -857    -1,975
 Bond          7,444    4,587    2,979    4,548   5,564
    Taxable    6,416    4,230    2,454    3,806   5,238
    Municipal  1,028    356      525      742     326
 Commodity     101      -1,027   -612     -264    -416
 Total         3,343    -9,606   -16,715  -1,746  9,946
 
 (Reporting by James Thorne; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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