Investors move back into funds at August’s end

INVESTORS ploughed $6bn (£3.7bn) into global equity funds in the last week of August after pulling money out for two weeks previously.

But private and institutional investors alike focused heavily on safe haven and defensive investments with a short term horizon, new figures from fund flows tracker EPFR showed.

“Risk appetite and retail investors remained in short supply and equity funds with a focus on dividend-paying stocks again stood out when it came to attracting fresh money,” EPFR said.

German and US equity funds attracted most of the capital in the last week of August, while investors placed a further $3.1bn into money market funds.

But more than 95 per cent of funds invested into the US were targeted at exchange-traded funds – and much of that was focused on short positions.

“One of the ETFs that absorbed the most money has seen short interest climb by over 50 per cent during the past two weeks, so it’s premature to call these flows a vote of confidence in US prospects,” said EPFR Director of Research Cameron Brandt.

Funds have seen massive outflows for the year so far. US equity funds alone have seen outflows of $28bn in 2011 due to events since May.