US equity funds see biggest weekly outflow in two months

(Reuters) – Investors withdrew huge money out of U.S. equity funds in the seven days to Aug. 13 on worries about the prospects of interest rates staying higher for longer.

A surge in yields triggered caution about a potential selloff in mega-cap growth stocks, while investors also reduced exposure to riskier assets ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole.

According to Refinitiv Lipper data, U.S. equity funds saw a net $11.07 billion worth of outflows during the week, the biggest since June 21.

U.S. Treasury yields climbed to their highest in 16 years this week as economic readings from the United States, such as jobs and consumption, pointed to stronger growth, prompting investors to scale back expectations for policy easing next year.

Investors pulled out a net $8.53 billion from large-cap stocks, the most in a week since March 15. They also exited $226 million worth of mid-cap stocks but accumulated small- and multi-cap funds worth $313 million and $244 million, respectively.

In terms of sectors, financial and tech sector funds saw $743 million and $703 million, respectively, in outflows, while healthcare observed about $253 million worth of purchases, on a net basis.

Meanwhile, U.S. bond funds witnessed about $977 million worth of net selling, the second consecutive weekly outflow.

U.S. high yield, and short/intermediate investment-grade funds saw a net $1.36 billion and $1.06 billion worth of selling, but short/intermediate government & treasury funds drew about $1.68 billion in inflows.

U.S. money market funds also booked about $7.74 billion worth of outflows, the first in five weeks.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonia Cheema)

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