Global exchange traded products notched their worst month of flows since March 2020 in April as investor jitters spread amid soaring inflation and the continued turbulence of war in Ukraine.
Monthly allocations to global ETPs hit just $27.4bn of inflows in April, down from $117.4bn in the previous month, according to data from asset management giant BlackRock.
Equities bore the brunt as inflows tumbled to just $2.8bn, down from $76.2bn, the month previous.
BlackRock analysts said U.S. had weathered the worst of the outflows globally.
“Outflows of -$25.6B from US equity ETPs – the largest monthly net sell on record for the exposure – dragged overall flows down in April, and came entirely out of US-listed ETPs (EMEA-listed peers saw $0.6B added),” the analysts said.
“The US-listed outflows look to have been largely driven by a change in investment vehicle, with futures appearing cheaper to hold than the relevant ETP.”
Investors also continued to shed European equity ETPs, as they dipped $2.5bn, but the surge in outflows was driven from the US as international investors began to unwind their positions.
Sector flows underscored a more defensive mindset across equity allocations in April, analysts said, with healthcare leading the way with $3bn, followed by utilities at $2bn in its third-highest monthly inflows on record.