Investors rush into U.S. bond funds as trade wars weigh on confidence

Credit: REUTERS/JOSE LUIS GONZALEZ

Concerns about a weakening global economy prompted investors to send nearly $11.9 billion into U.S. taxable and municipal bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds last week, the largest net inflows of any week since February, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

By David Randall

NEW YORK, June 19 (Reuters) - Concerns about a weakening global economy prompted investors to send nearly $11.9 billion into U.S. taxable and municipal bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds last week, the largest net inflows of any week since February, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute.

The approximately $11.9 billion more than doubled the $4.6 billion invested in the category the week before, and signaled that fears of escalating global trade wars and a sluggish U.S. economy remain on investors' minds despite a nearly 17% year to date gain in the benchmark S&P 500 stock index.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is now expected to cut interest rates at least two times by the end of the year to help revive the U.S. economy and boost inflation.

The rush into bond funds continued a positive streak of inflows over every full week of the year that has brought in a total of nearly $194 billion into the category since the start of January.

U.S. stock funds, meanwhile, brought in a net of $6.2 billion last week, the largest inflows since the week that ended April 2. For the year to date, domestic stock funds have lost $42.3 billion in net investor assets. World stock funds lost $1.1 billion, adding to a $8.1 billion decline for the year.

The following is a broad breakdown of the flows for the week, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds:

6/12/2019

6/5/2019

5/29/2019

5/22/2019

5/15/2019

Equity

5,063

-9,680

-4,714

3,827

-11,397

Domestic

6,210

-8,191

-4,412

3,722

-9,569

World

-1,147

-1,489

-302

105

-1,828

Hybrid

-1,282

-1,017

-1,191

-736

-985

Bond

11,874

4,654

3,026

4,565

1,680

Taxable

10,603

3,224

1,402

2,486

-138

Municipal

1,271

1,430

1,624

2,078

1,819

Commodity

317

681

157

178

-708

Total

15,972

-5,362

-2,721

7,834

-11,409

(Reporting by David Randall Editing by Tom Brown)

((David.Randall@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6607; Reuters Messaging: david.randall.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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