By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK, April 26 Investors in U.S.-based
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds poured $4.7 billion into
stock funds in the week ended April 19, marking the biggest
inflows in five weeks as investors returned to U.S.-focused
share funds, data from the Investment Company Institute showed
Investors committed $1.3 billion to U.S.-focused stock
funds, marking their first inflows in three weeks and their
biggest in five as concerns over France's presidential elections
Funds that specialize in international shares attracted $3.5
billion. While those inflows more than doubled those into their
U.S.-focused counterparts and extended a streak of inflows that
began in early December, they marked the weakest demand for
international-focused stock funds in three weeks.
Bond funds attracted $3.2 billion, marking their lowest
inflows in five weeks but continuing a run of inflows that began
in late December.
Investors likely returned to funds that hold U.S. shares on
worries over French politics, said Alan Gayle, director of asset
allocation at RidgeWorth Investments in Atlanta.
Centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory against anti-euro
nationalist Marine Le Pen in the first round of France's
presidential elections on April 23 sent stocks on both sides of
the Atlantic rallying, but worries had mounted ahead of the vote
about a potential victory for anti-EU candidates Marine Le Pen
and Jean-Luc Melenchon.
"(The United States') relative issues are smaller than those
basic questions facing France, so I think there is a bias toward
moving back toward a relative safe-haven, and that has always
been the United States," Gayle of RidgeWorth said about the
inflows into U.S.-focused share funds.
Despite the political risk, European stock valuations were
still relatively attractive compared to those in the United
States, hence the steady inflows into international-focused
share funds, he said.
The following table shows estimated ICI flows, including
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (all figures in millions
4/19 4/12 4/5 3/29 3/22
Equity 4,730 3,101 -6,074 1,603 -1,782
Domestic 1,258 -2,666 -12,724 303 -6,872
World 3,472 5,767 6,650 1,300 5,090
Hybrid -596 -665 -1,467 -1,077 -779
Bond 3,229 4,275 11,142 7,594 13,190
Taxable 2,743 2,963 10,589 6,950 12,511
Municipal 487 1,312 553 644 679
Commodity 740 111 -125 100 -151
Total 8,104 6,822 3,477 8,221 10,478
(Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Nick Zieminski)