Big investors buy into stock rally: State St

Trading specialist John Cetera of Hamilton Executions LLC works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, April 14, 2009. REUTERS/Chip East

LONDON (Reuters) - Institutional investors are participating in a broad-based recovery in equities with the United States leading the way and the euro zone lagging, State Street said on Friday.

The U.S. financial services firm, which tracks buying and selling within the $12 trillion in assets it holds as custodian, said flows into U.S. equities were close to the highest they have been in 12 years.

Specifically, it said, monthly flows into U.S. stocks were in the 98th percentile, meaning they have only been higher in 2 percent of months over the period. “It seems the nightmare may now be ending. Markets have been having quite a party of late,” State Street said in a note. “Institutional investors are backing this rally.”

It said emerging market equities were also benefiting, with flows into that asset class now in the 71st percentile, the highest since June 2007 before the credit crisis hit.

Flows into euro zone equities were a big exception. State Street said only Austria and Greece were seeing positive flows.

“All the big countries, such as Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands saw outflows over the month,” it said.

Japan was also having weak flows.

Editing by Mike Peacock