Investors retreat further from U.S. stock funds as trade tensions mount: ICI


FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors extended their retreat from the U.S. stock market by pulling nearly $8.2 billion out of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that hold domestic equities last week, according to data released on Wednesday by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).

The declines came amid the Trump administration’s threats to impose 5% import tariffs on all Mexican goods starting on Monday June 10. The United States and Mexico struck a deal to avert the tariffs but concerns still remained about the lingering U.S.-China trade war.

Worries about the health of the global economy and persistent low inflation have led financial markets to brace for interest rate cuts as soon as this summer by the Federal Reserve.

Net withdrawals from U.S. equity funds last week were almost double the $4.4 billion pulled out the week before, and the largest since the $9.5 billion lost during the week that ended May 15. For the year to date, investors have pulled nearly $48.5 billion from U.S. stock funds.

Bond funds, meanwhile, continued to attract new investor dollars. Taxable and municipal debt funds pulled in a net of $4.7 billion last week, adding to the $181.9 billion bond funds have brought in since the beginning of the year.

World stock funds shed nearly $1.5 billion in assets last week, bringing the category’s year to date decline to nearly $7 billion.

Reporting by David Randall; editing by Jennifer Ablan and Tom Brown

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