Although not at the breakneck pace seen in 2012 and 2013, inflows to exchange traded products are continuing this year with the year-to-date total as of the end of April resting at close to $30 billion.
That growth has not permeated currency ETFs, the smallest corner of the ETF universe even though these funds are linked to the largest financial market. Investors have pulled $1.1 billion from currency this year, or 23% of total assets, reports Cordell Eddings for Bloomberg.
A significant percentage of currency ETF assets are concentrated to one fund – the $663.1 million PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish Fund (NYSEArca: UUP). Even some ETFs tracking strong currencies have seen outflows this year.
For example, the $185.6 million CurrencyShares Euro Currency Trust (NYSEArca: FXE) has lost almost $81 million despite a modest rise for the common currency. The WisdomTree Indian Rupee Strategy Fund (NYSEArca: ICN) is lighter by $4 million despite a 6.6% year-to-date rise. [EM Currency Rally Fuels These ETFs]
Perhaps in a sign that some investors are betting on a weaker yen, the CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSEArca: FXY) has lost $75.5 million in assets despite a 2.4% 2014 gain.
“The $3.5 billion held by currency ETFs is the smallest for any class. While assets have more than doubled since 2007, that’s about half the 245 percent growth rate of the $1.8 trillion U.S. ETF market since the financial crisis erupted in 2007,” according to Bloomberg.
The CurrencyShares Australian Dollar Trust (NYSEArca: FXA) is up 4.1% this year, but investors concerned that the Reserve Bank of Australia will continue lowering interest rates have yanked almost $63 million from the ETF. [Aussie Rallies on Economic Shift]