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U.S. Stock ETFs Remain Popular Amidst Fiscal Cliff Talks


Despite initial fears and reservations surrounding the fiscal cliff, exchange traded fund flows are painting a different picture as investors continue to pile into U.S assets.

“With the outcomes of the US elections and super storm Sandy known and a sense among investors that a solution to the looming fiscal cliff will be negotiated, investors put US$ 9 billion into ETFs providing exposure to the US, replacing nearly all of the outflows during October,” Deborah Fuhr, managing partner at ETFGI, a consultancy firm, said in research note.

In November, global ETFs and other exchange traded products, which include exchange traded notes, attracted $21 billion in new assets, according to ETFGI data. Year-to-date through the end of November, ETFs and ETPs brought in $223 billion. [Global ETF Assets Setting New Records]

Equity funds were still the main draw in November, attracting $13.2 billion, followed by fixed-income funds with $5.1 billion and commodities at $2.3 billion.

In the equities side, investors focused on ETFs/ETPs with North America exposure, which gained $9.1 billion in new assets, while emerging market related ETFs attracted $1.3 billion and Asia Pacific region funds brought in $1.1 billion.

For fixed-income funds, government bond ETFs/ETPs saw $2.6 billion in net inflows, followed by emerging bonds at $1.0 billion and corporate debt with $986 million. However, high-yield fixed income ETFs flows were slightly negative in November. Dodd Kittsley, global head of ETP research at BlackRock, notes that the withdrawals in high-yield bonds were still modest compared to the $11 billion inflows over the first 10 months, reports Chris Flood for Financial Times.

Overall, the global ETF/ETPs industry had 4,725 products, with 9,718 listings, and $1.89 trillion in assets, up 2.0% from October and up 23.8% year-to-date, across 208 providers on 56 exchanges.

After Vanguard’s aggressive cost cutting strategy, the fund provider has been experiencing robust inflows and is on track to become the fastest growing U.S. ETF provider for a third year running. In November, Vanguard had the largest ETF/ETP inflows with $7.7 billion, followed by iShares $7.2 billion and State Street Global Advisors $5.4 billion. Nevertheless, iShares attracted $68.4 billion year-to-date, followed by Vanguard with $54.0 billion and SSgA SPDR’s with $26.2 billion. [Vanguard Shift Puts Focus on ETF Benchmarks]

For more information on ETF assets, visit our ETF performance reports category.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.