U.S.-based stock funds post biggest outflows in a year -ICI

Wed May 7, 2014 2:51pm EDT

NEW YORK, May 7 (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based mutual
funds pulled $3.9 billion out of stock funds in the week ended
April 30 after ongoing tensions in Ukraine and weak U.S.
economic growth, data from the Investment Company Institute
showed on Wednesday.
    The outflows from stock funds were the biggest since
investors pulled $4.9 billion out of the funds roughly a year
earlier over the week ended May 1, 2013, according to data from
ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. Bond funds attracted
$931 million in inflows over the latest week. 
    The outflows from stock funds marked the first withdrawals
in six weeks. Outflows of roughly $4 billion from funds that
specialize in U.S. stocks accounted for the net outflows, while
funds that mainly hold non-U.S. stocks attracted a meager $104
million in inflows. 
    The outflows from stock funds led to net outflows of $2.2
billion across all U.S.-based stock, bond, and hybrid mutual
funds tracked by ICI, marking the first net outflows from the
funds since last December, data from ICI showed. 
    "We've certainly seen some economic data that could have
spooked some investors, especially the GDP number," said Tim
Ghriskey, who helps oversee $1.5 billion as chief investment
officer of Solaris Group in Bedford Hills, New York.
    The Commerce Department said on April 30 that U.S. gross
domestic product expanded at a 0.1 percent annual rate, the
slowest since the fourth quarter of 2012. 
    The period covered by the ICI data included a day, April 25,
when U.S. and European stock markets fell on concern that
tensions between Ukraine and Russia may depress economic
activity in Europe. However, the benchmark S&P 500's 
gained 0.5 percent over the weekly period and the Dow 
closed at its first record high of 2014. 
    Strong corporate earnings from companies such as Apple
 and Facebook boosted U.S. stocks over the week. 
    The latest inflows into bond funds, while less than half the
prior week's inflows of about $2 billion, marked the 12th
straight week of new demand for the funds. Demand for the funds
has recovered after record annual outflows last year. 
    Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income
securities, attracted $767 million in new cash, marking their
lowest demand in four weeks. 
    The following data shows estimated ICI flows for the past
five weeks (all figures in millions of dollars):
                  4/2/2014      4/9      4/16     4/23     4/30
 Total equity        3,155    5,752     2,283    3,527   -3,858
    Domestic           938    2,073       633    1,390   -3,963
    World            2,217    3,680     1,650    2,137      104
 Hybrid*               265    1,482     1,186    1,229      767
 Total bond          3,379    1,609       633    1,987      931
    Taxable          3,129    1,448       604    1,456      602
    Municipal          250      161        29      531      329
 Total               6,799    8,843     4,102    6,743   -2,160
 *Hybrid funds can invest in stocks and/or fixed income
securities. 
    

 (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
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