Treasury yields slip, ETF assets march higher

Going into the final week of the first quarter, global markets were treading water amidst a welter of sometimes contradictory events and signals. A reporting period that started with the first quadruple witching of the year and ended with the Suez Canal blocked by a massive container ship also featured renewed lockdowns in Europe, yields on the US 10-year dropping back to the 1.6% level and North Korea testing nuclear capable missiles.

Flows to EPFR-tracked funds reflected the general uncertainty, with net flows to Equity Funds less than a 15th of the previous week’s total while Bond Funds took in the equivalent of 0.14% of AUM and Money Market Funds recorded their biggest weekly inflow year-to-date.

The week also saw the release of data showing that the assets managed by EPFR-tracked EquityBondAlternative and Balanced Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) climbed past the $8 trillion mark in February. They passed the $7 trillion mark in August of last year, $6 trillion in November 2019, $5 trillion in January 2018, $4 trillion in May 2017, $3 trillion in March 2016, $2 trillion in July 2013 and $1 trillion in December 2009.

Graph depicting the 'Assets managed by all equity, bond, balanced and alternative ETFs, in US million dollars, from 2018 to date'.

Graph depicting the 'Average country allocations for frontier markets equity funds, from 2016 to date'.

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