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August ETF Asset Report: Gold Tops

Sanghamitra Saha

The month of August has been anything but favorable for Wall Street, thanks to the re-escalation in Sino-U.S. trade tensions. SPDR S&P 500 ETF SPY (down 0.1%), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF DIA (down 0.3%) and Invesco QQQ Trust QQQ (up 0.1%) — all suffered in the past month (as of Aug 30, 2019) (read: Top and Flop ETF Areas of August).

Apart from renewed trade tensions, events like the Argentina debt crisis, a slight decline in the second-quarter U.S. GDP growth data and chances of a no-deal Brexit impacted the events in the month (read: August ETF Events That Grab Headlines).

Let's see how these events impacted asset growth in the ETF industry in August (as of August 29, 2019) (per etf.com).

Gold Glitters

Rising trade spats and the safe-haven rally pushed up precious metal prices. Also, the Fed and several other global central banks are acting dovish. This boosted non-interest-bearing assets like gold.SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) added about $2.73 billion in assets in the month (read: Gold ETF Inflows Hits 6-Year High: How to Go Long).

S&P 500 Stood Out

Despite turmoil in the broader market, the S&P 500 was the favorite of investors. iShares Core S&P 500 ETF IVV and Vanguard S&P 500 ETF VOO hauled in a respective of $2.71 billion and $2.31 billion in assets in August.

Low-Volatility ETFs Sizzle

Low-volatility ETFs have been on radar as investors flocked to iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol U.S.A. ETF USMV. The fund garnered $2.14 billion in assets in the month (read: 5 ETF Zones to Take Shelter From Trade War).  

Consumer Staples ETFs in Fine Fettle

As the broader market saw immense turmoil, safe sectors like consumer staples witnessed ample asset creation. Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund XLP pulled in about $1.36 billion in assets in the month (read: 5 ETFs to Gain From Walmart Strength Post Q2 Results).

Bond Gave All-Round Performance

As bond yields slumped drastically in August on slowdown fears and central banks’ dovish comments, bond ETFs saw huge inflows in assets in the month. Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF BND, iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF GOVT and iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF IEF attracted about $1.43 billion, $1.38 billion and $1.10 billion in assets, respectively, in the month.

Emerging Markets Lost Luster

Emerging markets lost luster in August as China-led trade tensions caused a spiraling effect on the entire EM bloc. Strength in the greenback is another reason for emerging market underperformance and investors’ disinterest toward the space. iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM) lost about $5.15 billion in assets. iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (IEMG) too shed about $2.10 billion in assets.

Financial ETFs Bleed Assets

Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF) bled about $3.04 billion in assets in August as long-term bond yields slumped in August. This compressed financial institutions’ net interest margins.

Nasdaq-100 Fell Out of Investors’ Favor

Tech-heavy Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) lost about $1.56 billion inAugust. This is because tech stocks are highly dependent on U.S.-China trade relation. A worsening of the ties is negative for the fund.

Investors Say No to High-Yield Bond Funds

iShares iBoxx USD High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG) andiShares iBoxx USD Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD) saw about $2.09 billion and$937 million in assets gushing out, respectively.

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SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares 7-10 Year Treasury Bond ETF (IEF): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol USA ETF (USMV): ETF Research Reports
 
Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLP): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF (VOO): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR Gold Shares (GLD): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares iBoxx $ High Yield Corporate Bond ETF (HYG): ETF Research Reports
 
Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLF): ETF Research Reports
 
iShares U.S. Treasury Bond ETF (GOVT): ETF Research Reports
 
Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF (BND): ETF Research Reports
 
Invesco QQQ (QQQ): ETF Research Reports
 
SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY): ETF Research Reports
 
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