By Trevor Hunnicutt
NEW YORK, May 10 U.S. fund investors charged
into international stocks at the fastest pace in nearly two
years, betting on a continued fillip for the global economy,
Investment Company Institute data for the latest week showed on
Investors added $7.8 billion to U.S.-based mutual and
exchange-traded funds invested in stocks abroad, the 22nd
straight week of inflows and largest since July 2015, the trade
group's data showed. There were $4.3 billion withdrawals from
domestic equity funds for the week.
High-flying domestic equities are giving U.S. investors
sticker shock after an eight-year bull market and upward run
following the U.S. presidential election last year.
"Part of it is the U.S. is expensive, but there are
genuinely good opportunities which are presenting themselves
elsewhere," said Atul Lele, chief investment officer of Deltec
International Group, citing Japan's equity markets as one of the
best opportunities he sees in the world.
He said economic momentum in the United States is slowing,
while global data improves.
"The U.S. expansion we saw from a few years ago is starting
to expand out to the rest of the world," Lele said.
The money came into foreign funds during the seven days
ended May 3, as anxious markets awaited a presidential runoff in
France on Sunday that pitted centrist Emmanuel Macron's
business-friendly vision of European integration against
euroskeptic Marine Le Pen. Macron won.
U.S.-based bond funds pulled in $7.2 billion during the
week, continuing a strong year for the funds and marking their
19th consecutive week of inflows, ICI said.
The following table shows estimated ICI flows, including
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (all figures in millions
5/3 4/26 4/19 4/12 4/5/2017
Equity 3,534 11,601 4,725 3,101 -6,111
-Domestic -4,264 6,757 1,253 -2,666 -12,761
-World 7,798 4,844 3,472 5,767 6,650
Hybrid -1,393 566 -596 -665 -1,467
Bond 7,171 8,614 3,229 4,275 11,131
-Taxable 6,937 7,960 2,743 2,963 10,578
-Municipal 234 653 487 1,312 553
Commodity -14 -7 740 111 -125
Total 9,299 20,774 8,099 6,821 3,428
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Grant McCool)