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Flows reflect investor caution as unanswered policy questions abound

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A horizon full of possible shifts in economic policy kept the lid on fund flows during the first week of November, with only money market funds – a proxy for cash – and funds dedicated to European and Japanese assets seeing significant inflows.

Overall, EPFR Global-tracked bond funds took in a net USD1.7bn during the week ending 6 November and money market funds USD22.2bn while USD1.7bn flowed out of equity funds.
 
With the third quarter earnings season beginning to wind down, investors shaping their strategies for next year are looking ahead to the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee’s third plenary session starting this weekend, the US Federal Reserve’s meeting and the European Union leaders’ summit in December and the expiration of the temporary US debt and budget extensions in early 1Q14. Concrete proposals and a timetable for the structural reforms promised by Japan’s government could also be added to the mix before the year’s end.
 
At the country level there was a noticeable cooling of enthusiasm for the US, with over USD7bn pulled out of US equity funds and flows into global equity funds heavily favouring those with ex-US mandates while redemptions from US high yield bond and technology sector funds hit 11 week and nine year highs respectively. Mexico, a market whose fortunes are heavily correlated with those of the US, also felt this chill with Mexico equity funds extending their longest outflow streak since 4Q10.

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