U.S.-listed ETFs have lost about $17 billion of assets under management over the past 30 days, with emerging market and bond funds leading the outflows.
The past month is “quite a departure from the steady-as-she goes pace of inflows more common to the product,” Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at ConvergEx Group, said in a note Friday.
“Some asset classes have been harder hit than others, of course,” he added. “Fixed income funds have lost $9.4 billion, and commodity-oriented ETFs have shed $2.9 billion. The biggest bullet thus far has been at the top of the risk pyramid, with emerging markets funds losing $10.4 billion.”
However, Colas doesn’t think ETF selling is impacting their underlying markets.
“We tend to think that these unusually negative flows are more a symptom of recent market unrest than a cause,” he said. In other words, the tail isn’t wagging the dog.
In bond ETFs, even though some funds have grown very large, “they still only represent a very small portion of the [fixed-income] universe, and therefore would not be capable of ‘moving’ the underlying market in a meaningful way,” says Dodd Kittsley, head of global ETP market trends research for BlackRock. [iShares: ETF Mythbusting — Can Bond Funds Move the Market?]
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