Every fortnight, MutualFunds.com provides a snapshot of the performance of some key mutual funds which tries to accurately capture the investor interest in specific areas of the financial markets. The report is aimed at providing a quick overview of the sectors, regions and asset classes that moved in a meaningful manner during the last two weeks.
- The picture in long-term flows was largely unchanged in the two weeks ended August 21 compared to previous weeks, with mutual funds experiencing net outflows. Bonds again posted positive net inflows, which was more than offset by equity outflows.
- Investors withdrew a net $12.8 billion from equities, with large-cap equities and multi-cap equities particularly hit. Meanwhile, total bonds saw net inflows of more than $6 billion, largely thanks to the attractiveness of taxable and investment-grade bonds.
- The U.S. Federal Reserve noted that its interest rate cut in July was a “recalibration” of its monetary policy and not a “pre-set” course for additional monetary easing, according to the minutes revealed by the watchdog.
- The world’s leading central bankers gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to share thoughts about monetary policy. While Fed Chair Jerome Powell did not reveal much in his address, Bank of England boss Mark Carney proposed the invention of a new currency in order to move the world away from its reliance on the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency.
- The main political leaders of the leading countries met at the G7 summit in France. Among the key takeaways: U.S. President Donald Trump opened the possibility of a trade deal with China; France President Emmanuel Macron said Trump and Iran leader Hassan Rouhani could meet to negotiate a nuclear deal; Trump also promised the U.K. a trade deal after it exits the European Union.
- A bunch of European business sentiment indicators finally saw some improvement after months of hovering near multi-year lows. Germany’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose from 43.1 to 43.6, still deep in contraction territory. Meanwhile, France’s manufacturing PMI advanced to 51, moving into expansion mode after falling below the 50 level last month.
- U.S. durable goods orders rose 2.1% in July, the largest monthly increase since March, exceeding expectations for a modest 1.2% advance. The positive figure was largely due to a rebound in aircraft orders. Core durable goods, which excludes volatile items such as aircraft, declined 0.4% month-over-month.
- U.S. GDP growth for the second quarter was revised down to 2% from 2.1% previously. In the first half of the year, the U.S. economy expanded by 2.6%.
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- Currencies (JCUAX) were the only losers these past two weeks, shedding 0.68%.
- Managed Futures (EVONX) were by far the best-performing asset class with an advance of 2.36%.
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Mutual fund bonds continued to post net inflows, although that was not enough to stem overall net outflows as investors pulled a larger amount of funds from equities. International stocks and retail equities have outperformed, while some bonds, currencies and Latin American equities were among the worst performers.