Emerging market funds take in more than $20 billion

First quarter figures show emerging market funds are benefitting from better prospects in the US.

Better US consumer confidence data and rising commodity prices helped EPFR Global-tracked emerging market equity funds extend their net inflow streak to $23.2 billion over the past 12 weeks.

According to data from Massachusetts-based EPFR Global, which tracks more than $10 trillion in assets worldwide, emerging markets equity funds took in $2.08 billion in net inflows for the week ending May 27. Net inflows into fixed income funds totalled $2.9 billion in the same week.

Investors committed $1 billion to global emerging markets equity funds, $647 million to Asia ex-Japan equity funds, $242 million to Latin America equity funds and $123 million to Europe, Middle East, and Africa equity funds in net inflows in the week ending May 27. 

There was a clear preference for more diversified exposure, according to EPFR Global. China's story exerted less of an influence on flows this week, with China equity funds absorbing a nine-week low of just $18 million in net inflows, as investors spread their cash widely and, for the most part, thinly.

While a boon to emerging equity markets, the jump in the US Conference Board's consumer confidence index had a modest impact on US equity funds, which absorbed $1.34 billion in net inflows in the week ending May 27. Small- and mid-cap exchange-traded funds accounted for the bulk of the new commitments.

"Higher mortgage rates, allied to higher energy prices if Opec gets its way, could nip the recent improvement in US consumer confidence in the bud," says EPFR Global senior analyst Cameron Brandt . "So investors are being cautious."

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