After years of steady growth, the ETF universe has been punched with big back-to-back monthly ETF outflows – the first since the financial downturn.

ETFs saw negative outflows in March, with most of the redemptions coming out of large-cap U.S. equity funds, reports Ryan Vlastelica for MarketWatch.

According to FactSet data, U.S.-listed stock funds saw $8.78 billion in outflows, which more than offset the $3.44 billion that was funneled into fixed-income safety plays. Among the worst off, U.S. large-cap funds experienced $22.1 billion in outflows, followed by Europe total market funds focusing on developed economies that had $2.8 billion in outflows.

Related: India ETFs Among Worst 2018 Performing Markets

The SPDR S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: SPY) and iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (NYSEARCA: IVV), two of the most popularly traded ETFs on the market, both experienced $12.2 billion and $9.8 billion in outflows over the past month, respectively.

Headline Risks Triggers Risk-Off ETF Selling

“The outflows reflect a reallocation of capital given what’s been going on in the market over the past several weeks. There’s a lot of headline risk, which caused the market to hit a bit of a banana peel in the final weeks of the quarter,” Matthew Bartolini, Head of SPDR Americas Research at State Street Global Advisors, told MarketWatch.

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