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UK investors buy US stocks at fastest rate in nine years, Calastone says

Published 03/05/2024, 03:02 AM
Updated 03/05/2024, 03:06 AM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., February 29, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

By Harry Robertson

LONDON (Reuters) - British investors piled into U.S. equity funds at the fastest rate in at least nine years in February as tech stocks drove American markets to record highs, fund network Calastone said on Tuesday.

Just over 2.5 billion pounds ($3.17 billion) flowed into North American equity funds last month, Calastone said, the most on the company's nine-year record.

UK investors have been sucked into a powerful rally that has been driven by excitement about artificial intelligence and the Federal Reserve potentially soon cutting interest rates.

It has pushed the U.S. S&P 500 and Nasdaq stock indices past their late 2021 and early 2022 peaks to new record highs.

"Risk is back on with a vengeance," said Edward Glyn, head of global markets at Calastone.

"The U.S. stock market has soared by a fifth since late October, driving accelerating fund inflows ever since. The rally has been driven by technology stocks in particular."

British investors remain unenthusiastic about domestic stocks, however, with 633 million pounds flowing out of UK funds in February, putting 2024 on track to be the fourth straight year of outflows.

"The UK stock market has notched a touch higher... but nothing can persuade UK investors to add capital to their home market," Glyn said.

Investors continued to buy into money market funds, which attracted 78 million pounds, although that was well below the 400 million pound monthly average seen in 2023.

Bond funds took in 329 million pounds, their best month since June 2023.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., February 29, 2024.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Calastone's figures, which mainly track retail investor decisions, are not comprehensive, but give a good sense of UK flows.

($1 = 0.7885 pound)

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