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Global bond funds post massive weekly outflows on rate hike concerns

Published 10/06/2023, 06:21 AM
Updated 10/06/2023, 06:28 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar and Euro banknotes are seen in this illustration taken July 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) - Global bond funds faced huge outflows in the week to October 4, driven by concerns over sustained high interest rates because of elevated inflation levels and a robust U.S. economy.

U.S. job openings unexpectedly increased in August, pointing to a still-tight labour market that could compel the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.

Investors withdrew a net $8.47 billion from global bond funds in their biggest weekly net selling since Dec. 12, 2022, LSEG data showed.

Intense selling by investors pushed yields on the benchmark 10-year US Treasury bonds, which move inversely to prices, to a fresh 16-year high of 4.884% this week.

The U.S. and European bond funds registered net outflows of $6.34 billion and $4.42 billion, respectively, but Asian funds still received inflows of about $675 million.

Notably, riskier global high-yield funds had $3.17 billion in outflows for the week, following the previous week's net sell-off of about $3 billion. Additionally, investors withdrew about $1 billion from loan participation funds.

On the other hand, investors channelled investments into the safety of government bond funds, which attracted $1.04 billion during the week.

Safer money market funds also lured a massive $45.5 billion in the week. However riskier global equity funds saw net disposals of $2.5 billion for the third successive weekly outflow.

The healthcare, consumer staples, and consumer discretionary sector funds saw net withdrawals of $794 million, $642 million, and $507 million, respectively.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: U.S. Dollar and Euro banknotes are seen in this illustration taken July 17, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

In the commodities sector, the selling streak extended to an 11th week, with net withdrawals of about $810 million. That included $78 million withdrawn from energy funds, while precious metal funds had a net outflow of $415 million for a 19th consecutive week of outflows.

Data covering 28,646 emerging market funds showed that bond funds experienced $1.74 billion in outflows, for a 10th consecutive week of net selling. Additionally, investors sold $1.28 billion in equity funds.

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