NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors battered U.S.-based stock funds with the largest withdrawals this year as wild trading disrupted the market’s summertime calm, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday.
Nearly $9.2 billion flowed out of equity mutual funds and exchange-traded funds during the week through Aug. 16, with a 37th week of inflows for international shares only slightly offsetting $11.3 billion of withdrawals for domestic stocks, according to the trade group.
U.S. stocks remained on pace to deliver their ninth straight year of positive returns.
Yet two pullbacks of more than 1 percent in S&P 500 index .SPX this month jolted markets following geopolitical tensions between the United States and North Korea as well as questions surrounding U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration bringing its economic agenda to fruition.
Equity mutual fund outflows of $9.9 billion compared with $1.4 billion of stock ETF withdrawals, according to ICI.
“Investors have favored international equity and bond fund strategies as alternatives,” said Todd Rosenbluth, director of ETF and mutual fund research at CFRA.
Investors turned to perceived safe-haven funds, with taxable bond funds attracting $3.8 billion in their 37th straight week of inflows, ICI said. Funds that invest in commodities like gold pulled in $881 million, their best week since June.
Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli