Equity funds worldwide suffered more than $11 billion of net outflows in the first week of July, while money market funds saw the biggest inflows in 18 months amid fears of a double-dip recession, EPFR Global said on Friday.
Money market funds, an equivalent of cash for many investors, had inflows of $33.5 billion, while equity funds saw $11.25 billion move out of the door, fund tracker EPFR said in a statement.
Bond funds in aggregate absorbed another $3.64 billion for the week ended July 7 and global emerging markets equity funds took in $517 million.
Investors have become increasingly concerned about faltering economic growth after a rash of weaker than expected data. Last week, a report showed U.S. employers cut far more jobs than expected in June and the unemployment rate hit 9.5 percent -- the highest in nearly 26 years.
Double dip is a term that refers to a recession followed by a short-lived recovery. The World Bank said in June that a double-dip recession could not be ruled out in some countries if investors lose faith in efforts in Europe and elsewhere to tackle rising debt levels.
Worse than expected U.S. labor and housing market data and fear of what stress tests of major European banks will reveal continued to weigh on sentiment towards the major developed market and the funds that invest in them during the first week of July, EPFR said.
EMERGING MARKET EQUITIES
Investors regained some confidence in the fund group in the latest week, sending fresh money to Asia.
Global emerging market equity funds saw $517 million in inflows and Asia ex-Japan equity funds absorbed $124 million.
Europe, Middle East & Africa funds and Latin America focused funds had outflows, suggesting willingness to take risks is still tentative.
Latin America posted its 13th consecutive week of outflows, driven by fears of a knock-on effect if the U.S. economy slows significantly.
DEVELOPED MARKET EQUITIES
Funds investing in the United States, the European Union's biggest export market had a rough week, with overall redemptions from U.S. Equity Funds exceeding $10 billion for only the second time this year.
Japan equity funds also posted outflows, their seventh in the past nine weeks, as a dip in domestic capital spending, questions about the effect of the yen's appreciation on Japan's exports and uncertainty about economic policy made investors cautious.
The lure of gold and precious metals as a hedge against uncertainty helped commodity funds top the list of EPFR Global-tracked sector funds once again in early July, with investors committing $419 million to this fund group, taking year-to-date inflows past the $11 billion mark.
The consumer goods sector funds were the second biggest absorbers of fresh money, pulling in $226 million.
FIXED INCOME FUNDS:
Emerging market bond funds continued to soak up fresh money, despite waves of risk aversion.
In the latest week, the fund group saw $740 million in inflows.
Investors pulled $113 million out of high yield bond funds. U.S. bond funds attracted over $2.3 billion for the week, with funds investing in short-term and municipal debt posting the biggest inflows.
Global bond funds took in a net $631 million as brisk demand for recent European sovereign issues alleviated concerns about their generally heavy exposure to this region. (Editing by Tomasz Janowski)