LONDON – Investors pumped money into stocks and siphoned funds out of bonds and cash as global markets braced for higher interest rates, BofA’s weekly flow show report showed on Friday.
In the first 13 trading days of the year compared to the same period last year, equity funds have seen $52 billion of inflows compared to a similar amount last year while bond and credit funds have seen tiny outflows after heavy inflows, according to BofA using EPFR data.
“Rates up and profits down is a bad combo for credit and stocks and the Fed is hysterically behind the curve,” analysts led by Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at the U.S. investment bank, said in a note.
Money markets in the U.S. and the U.K are expecting as many as four rate hikes in 2022.
On a weekly basis in stocks, emerging markets saw the biggest weekly inflows since March 2021 at $5.2 billion, China saw large inflows and U.S. equity funds saw the first outflows in four weeks.
Cash levels were also building, although there was no risk-off sentiment in equity flows yet. BofA’s ‘private clients’ -which manage $3.3 trillion of assets – had 11.3% in cash while the average beta of the top 10 stocks held by its clients was higher than historical averages, indicating they were more vulnerable to market volatility.
(Reporting by Saikat Chatterjee and Julien Ponthus; Editing by Karin Strohecker)