European equities get inflows after best earnings in years

Capital flowed back into stocks last week, with European equities the favourite destination in the developed world, after posting their best earnings season in years.

European equities saw $1.6 billion in inflows, the second straight week when money poured into the asset class.

European Equities Inflows

European equities see strong inflows after good earnings. Source: Bank of America Merrill Lynch

European fixed income flows moved back into positive territory but were still behind equities, with just around $1 billion.

Yield came back into fashion as Bund yields started to fall again after the recent bond selloff that had cast a shadow on central banks’ ability to influence the markets.

High-yield debt funds, which had seen outflows for the previous three weeks, broke their losing streak with $523 million going in.

European investment grade debt funds saw $511 million in inflows in the week that ended on May 27.

Elsewhere in the developed world, Japanese equities saw their first outflows in 14 weeks, although small at $22 million.

US equities, which have seen outflows in nine out of the past 10 weeks, saw another $3.9 billion leaving in the week that ended on May 27.

As for emerging markets equities, they saw their largest inflows since July 2014, but all the money went to China, especially into exchange trade funds (ETFs) for A-shares, which are the shares of Chinese companies listed on the mainland.

Chinese stocks, which had already seen big inflows, saw the largest inflows since April 2008, of $4.5 billion. The money went in just before the 6% slump in the Shanghai Composite Index.

Recently, the Chinese authorities have taken various steps to allow foreigners more access to invest into Chinese mainland stocks, while also giving Chinese citizens gradually more freedom to invest their money abroad.

Analysts have said the surge in Chinese stocks was mainly caused by this liberalisation of the capital account, as the weakening Chinese economy does not provide fundamental reasons for investors to put their money in China right now.

At a global level, investment grade bond funds have seen 75 straight weeks of inflows, but interest in the asset class was small last week, with just $900 million going in. It was the weakest inflow since January 2014.

High yield bond funds saw inflows of $400 million.

Emerging market debt funds saw their first outflows in 10 weeks, worth $200 million, while Treasury Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) saw similar outflows, their first in 11 weeks.