- Flows were slightly positive over the past two weeks. For the 15 days ended May 15, more than $4 billion in inflows were registered, with bonds again largely offsetting outflows in equities.
- More than $1.5 billion in equity outflows were recorded during the examined two-week period compared with inflows of more than $7.6 billion in bonds. Domestic and multi-cap mutual funds were among the biggest losers in equity, while taxable and investment grade bonds mutual funds received the largest inflows.
- Populist parties have failed to gain sway in European elections as largely feared, although mainstream parties lost ground to liberals and the greens. The latest Europe-wide election results mean that more political parties will have to form a larger coalition to keep power. Although the Brexit party won elections in the U.K., other euroskeptic parties in Europe have failed to move the needle in their favor, temporarily removing fears of the dismantling of the European Union.
- U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May announced she will resign from her role, admitting defeat in delivering on her promise to take Britain out of the European Union with a deal. So far, nine candidates have joined the race for the Conservative Party leadership, with Brexit supporter Boris Johnson having the upper hand. Johnson signaled the U.K. will leave the European Union irrespective of whether he can sign a deal.
- Federal Reserve minutes revealed that policymakers are quite dovish, signaling that they will not hurry to raise interest rates even if the economy of the U.S. strengthens. They cited the lack of inflation and a strong job market as the main reason for withholding fire.
- U.K. wages grew by 3.3% during the three-month period ended March compared to the same period last year, falling from 3.5% in the prior three-month period. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, rose to a new high of 32.7 million, while the jobless rate dropped to 3.8% from 3.9%, the lowest level in 45 years.
- U.S. retail sales unexpectedly dropped 0.2% in April month-over-month, compared with a revised advance of 1.7% in the prior month. Core retail sales, which excludes volatile items such as automobiles, increased 0.1% compared with 0.7% expected by analysts.
Check out our previous edition of the scorecard here.
- Amid Brexit fears and an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, investors sought shelter in bonds.
- Indeed, technology-heavy fund (NASDX) declined 3.8% for the past two weeks as high-profile initial public offerings such as Uber and Lyft disappointed.
- Meanwhile, Vanguard’s international bond fund (VTIBX) gained 0.63%, the best performance from the pack.
- Sectors were mixed, with risk-averse investors plowing money into stable stocks.
- Utilities fund (FKUTX) was the best performer by far, advancing as much as 2.81%.
- At the other end of the spectrum, technology sector fund (PGTIX) lost as much as 5.5% for the past two weeks.
- Foreign equities posted mixed performances, with emerging markets badly hit and India shares performing impressively.
- India fund (WIINX) gained 4.4% for the past two weeks, after current Prime Minister Narendra Modi won a landslide victory in Indian elections.
- Meanwhile, emerging markets fund (VEIEX) declined nearly 4.6%, taking the spot of the worst performer.
Major Asset Classes
- In asset classes, bonds were the best performers and the only assets that delivered gains.
- Pimco’s long term bonds mutual fund (PEDIX) rose nearly 3% for the past two weeks, representing the best performance.
- Blackrock’s small-cap fund (CSGEX) lost 3.41% of their value over the past two weeks.
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The Bottom Line
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