The global exchange traded fund industry continued to expand over April as investors shifted their focus back onto fixed-income assets. Meanwhile, the slight market pullback in mid-month cooled interest for equities.
According to a BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) research note, global exchange traded products, which include both ETFs and exchange traded notes, added $10.3 billion in April after seeing $23 billion in new inflows over March. [ETF Performance Report: April]
Nevertheless, the industry has attracted $79.9 billion in new assets year-to-date, compared to the $66.3 billion over the same period year-over-year.
Fixed-income funds attracted $9.5 billion in new inflows in April, the best monthly increase since May 2012. U.S. Treasury funds led the group, adding $2.2 billion, and are now up for three months in a row. Additionally, short-duration funds saw heavy interest as a hedge against interest rate risk, gathering $5.6 billion.
In the equities space, stock funds saw $9.6 billion in new inflows over April. Top stock strategies included dividend income, which brought in $3.4 billion, and minimum volatility strategies, which saw $2.5 billion in inflows.
Looking at international markets, Japanese equity ETPs attracted $4.8 billion on the Bank of Japan’s ongoing aggressive policies. Emerging market equity funds experienced $3.5 billion in outflows. [Abenomics: Yen-Hedged ETFs for Japan Up 30% in 2013]
Gold ETPs were the biggest losers in April, losing $8.7 billion in assets, as traders dumped gold in light of U.S. inflation expectations, disappointing Chinese GDP report and rumors of distressed Eurozone countries dumping gold reserves. [Gold ETF Outflows Persist After Fed]
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