In a strong week for U.S. stock funds, investors added the most money since June as most corporate earnings beat expectations and the S&P 500 continued to extend its record.
They poured $7.5 billion into the securities in the week to Oct. 18, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a research report, citing EPFR Global data. It was the largest inflow in 18 weeks.
Japanese equity funds posted outflows of $4.4 billion, the most on record, ahead of Sunday’s general election. Exchange-traded funds were responsible for the bulk of the redemptions, possibly via the Bank of Japan, according to the report. European stock funds attracted $1.1 billion.
The flows mark a reversal from the shift out of the U.S. and into stocks of Europe, Japan and emerging markets. A net $5.3 billion has been taken out of U.S. equity funds since the beginning of the year, while European stocks are sitting on an inflow of $38.9 billion and Japanese equities $29.4 billion.
This week appetite for American stocks returned while funds sought to capitalize on a rally that took the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the 23,000 level for the first time. Third-quarter earnings season has surprised on the upside, with about 80 percent of companies to date reporting profits that beat analysts’ forecasts.
Elsewhere, investment-grade bond funds gained $5.3 billion of new money, the 43rd straight week of inflows. Government bond funds suffered a fifth straight week of redemptions as investors withdrew $1 billion. Gold funds lost $400 million.
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