‘Trade deal trauma’ sees investors pull $20 billion from stocks in a week

Investors pulled more than $20.5 billion from global equities in the past week, showing the impact of trade tensions between the U.S. and China on confidence in financial markets.

A regular note on fund flows from analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) revealed that cash leaving equity funds in the week ending May 8 was the third highest so far this year. It came as President Donald Trump ratcheted up a drawn out trade dispute between the world’s two-largest economies by threatening further import tariffs on Chinese goods.

U.S. equity funds saw outflows of $14 billion, the largest since January 30, BAML strategists said, citing data from flow tracking specialist EPFR. EPFR looks at institutional and individual investor flows and how they impact global markets. European funds saw $2.5 billion in outflows last week, while $1.3 billion was withdrawn from emerging market equities, with BAML strategists saying the moves reflected “trade deal trauma.”


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In total, equity fund outflows have now reached $116 billion so far this year, on course for the worst year since 2016, the research said.

Bonds, which are perceived as a safe haven in times of market distress, saw an eighteenth consecutive week of inflows with $7.3 billion piling in over the past week. BAML analysts identified mortgage-backed securities (MBS), emerging market debt and high yield bonds as drawing the most inflows, reflecting what it terms an ongoing “lust for yield” amid an unanticipated drop in bond yields.

Global stock markets have seen heavy selling this week as the tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 650 points so far this week, while the S&P 500 has lost about 2.5%.

After a warning from Trump on Sunday, the U.S. hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday. In response, Beijing said it “deeply regrets” the tariff hike and would take countermeasures — though no specifics were provided.

Source: cnbc.com | Original Link

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