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Six out of eight equity fund groups increase cash allocations

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Six of the eight of the major EPFR Global-tracked equity fund groups increased their average cash allocations during August, making it the fourth time in five months a majority of these fund groups have boosted their exposure to cash. 

Both of the major bond fund groups also raised their cash weightings, with emerging markets bond funds taking theirs to a 14-month high.

Japan’s focus on politics rather than policymaking, allied to continued concerns about the impact of its appreciating currency on export competitiveness, led to global, global ex-US and Pacific equity funds cutting their allocations for this market in August as EPFR Global-tracked funds were net sellers of this market for the fourth consecutive month.

Declining political noise allowed foreign fund managers to focus on Thailand’s export story and hopes of a stronger public investment cycle, with the average GEM equity fund allocation for this market climbing to a 28-month high going into September.

An uncertain outlook for global demand and still low natural gas prices did not stop all eight of the major equity fund groups whose GICS Level I sector weightings data is tracked by EPFR Global from increasing their allocations for energy during a month when defensive sectors generally fared best.

Going into September global bond funds were taking another look at developed Europe in general and the so-called PIIGS markets in particular as they lifted Ireland’s average weighting to a five-year high.

Although emerging markets bond funds continued to attract strong inflows, their managers were noticeably more risk-averse with selling of Venezuelan and Hungarian debt kicking into high gear while Chile’s average allocation climbed to a more than nine-year high.

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