Among more targeted picks, the Industrial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLI) stood out with $850 million in net inflows over August.
On the fixed-income side, the iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (NYSEArca: LQD) brought in close to $1.4 billion in net inflows as investors continued to search for higher yielding assets in a low yield environment. LQD comes with a 2.85% 30-day SEC yield, compared to the 1.57% yields on 10-year Treasury notes.
On the other hand, international developed market stocks were among the most shunned assets of August. The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: DXJ) experienced $1.1 billion in net outflows, WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (NYSEArca: HEDJ) saw $550 million in outflows, iShares MSCI EMU ETF (NYSEArca: EZU) lost $540 million, Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEF) shrunk by $480 million, iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (NYSEArca: EFA) saw $460 in outflows and Deutsche X-Trackers MSCI Europe Hedged Equity ETF (NYSEArca: DBEU) shrunk by $400 million.
The currency-hedged strategy has fallen out of favor as a weakening dollar or strengthening foreign currencies weighed on the ETFs. However, the U.S. dollar has appreciated over the past week as traders anticipated action out of the Federal Reserve, following Fed Chairwomen Janet Yellen’s speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
SEE MORE: The “3 C’s” Driving Emerging Markets
After seeing robust inflows, the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSEArca: GLD) is giving back some of its recent gains, with $610 million in outflows over August. Gold has experienced a robust rebound this year, but speculation of a Fed interest rate hike diminishes the attractiveness of a hard asset that provides no yield.
Additionally, investors pulled $430 million from the iShares MSCI USA Minimum Volatility ETF (NYSEArca: USMV), which selects stocks based on variances and correlations along with other risk factors. This suggests that investors are growing less weary of stock market turns, and along with recent inflows into the equity-related ETFs, market participants may be growing more risk-on.
For more information on the developing economies, visit our emerging markets category.