June 23 (Reuters) - Bond mutual funds and bond exchange-traded funds have lost a combined $47.2 billion in June, the biggest monthly loss on record and exceeding outflows in October 2008, the climax of the global banking crisis, according to research firm TrimTabs Investment Research.
TrimTabs said bond mutual funds shed $39.9 billion this month through to June 18, while bond exchange-traded funds lost $7.3 billion. In October 2008, $41.8 billion flew out of the bond funds, the previous record amount.
“Fund investors are unloading bonds at a record pace,” TrimTabs said. “These record outflows are occurring even though the average bond fund’s 5.0 percent loss since the start of May pales in comparison to the losses at the height of the financial crisis.”
Bond prices have been falling since the end of May when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the U.S. central bank could ease its $85 billion a month purchases of bonds should the economy continue to recover.
TrimTabs’ numbers reflect those of the Investment Company Institute issued last Wednesday which showed that investors pulled $13.46 billion from bond funds in the week ended June 12, though that did not exceed flows of October 2008.
The Swiss-based Bank for International Settlements, a grouping of world central banks, said on Sunday bondholders in the United States could lose over $1 trillion, or 8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, if yields rise by 3 percentage points.