European funds post €706.2 billion trading loss in first half: Lipper

LONDON (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic has hit European funds, which suffered trading losses of 706.4 billion euros ($835 billion) in the first six months of 2020, according to Refinitiv Lipper data released on Wednesday.

European funds were hammered by the pandemic, particularly in March, when markets lost trillions of dollars at a record pace.

Assets managed by the European fund industry fell to 11.2 trillion euros on June 30 from 12.3 trillion euros on December 31, the Lipper data showed.

“The coronavirus pandemic hit the European fund industry with declining markets and estimated net outflows of 125.9 billion euros in the first quarter of 2020,” Detlef Glow, Lipper Head of EMEA Research at Refinitiv, said in the statement.

“This trend reversed over the course of the second quarter as central banks and governments around the globe started quantitative easing programs and economic relief packages to cushion the economic drawdowns caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the lockdowns of economies around the globe.”

Investors moving back into mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the second quarter led to inflows of 123 billion euros for the first half of the year, the data showed.

During the period, the European fund market increase by 21 funds after 531 funds were liquidated, 390 were merged with others and 942 were launched.

Equity funds saw the highest number of liquidations.

Mutual funds added 105.6 billion euros in assets, with bond funds the best-selling asset type, followed by commodities strategies, while ETFs added 17.4 billion euros.

Money market funds were the best-selling individual asset type overall, raking in 152.5 billion euros, while equity global strategies were the best-selling sector among long-term funds over the period, according to the data.

Reporting by Maiya Keidan; Editing by Hugh Lawson