This Week’s Asset Classes: Equities Lead, Bonds Bleed | ETF Trends

Another week has gone by in the wide world of ETFs, with notable flows that bucked a strong start to the year for bonds. Whereas bond ETFs pulled in very strong inflows last week, this week they bled the most assets of all asset classes, losing -$2.5 billion in that time.

Asset Class AUM ($, mm) Net Flows ($, mm)
Equity $5,275,460.81 $15,357.37
Commodity $138,431.90 $450.28
Preferred Stock $32,873.97 $92.51
Volatility $2,868.21 $72.03
Currency $4,098.04 $4.62
Real Estate $74,447.43 -$52.66
Alternatives $5,621.73 -$73.85
Multi-Asset $31,589.44 -$403.24
Bond $1,312,314.02 -$2,542.04


Leading the way has been the SPDR Bloomberg 1-3 Month T-Bill ETF (BIL) with nearly $1 billion in outflows over the last week as -$985 million left the strategy. The iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) also bore some outflows with -$779 million going out.

That could be attributed to concern about the Fed’s looming interest rate hikes which came out late Wednesday at just a 25 basis point increase, with another hike being considered for next month. It could also however be due to investors feeling uplifted by slowing rate hikes and looking to buy low on equities, instead.

Equities strategies added $15.3 billion for the week, dwarfing the next closest category, Commodities, by almost $15 billion. Equities were led by $2 billion in net inflows for the SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (SDY) which offers an annual dividend yield of 2.7% and charges 35 basis points for its indexed approach.

Standing out once again in equities was the Europe-focused JPMorgan BetaBuilders Europe ETF (BBEU) which took in $1.5 billion for the week, third-placed just behind the Vanguard Value ETF (VTV) which added $1.8 billion in that time. Dividends also showed up in the fourth-placed ETF by flows, the SPDR Portfolio S&P 500 High Dividend ETF (SPYD) which added $1.46 billion in flows.

Finally, commodities continued a durable period, adding $450 million in net inflows over the last week. The asset class was led by the ProShares Ultra Bloomberg Natural Gas (BOIL) with $282 million in net inflows, joined just behind by the United States Natural Gas Fund LP (UNG) which added $221 million in that time. Buying into natural gas could be explained by price spikes like those in California, up 385%.

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