Int’l Equity ETFs Fueled April Inflows

May 01, 2015

Investors poured a total of $13.5 billion into U.S.-listed ETFs in April, just about all of it in non-U.S. strategies in a continuation of a first-quarter trend that suggests focus is turning increasingly away from U.S. equities. Total ETF assets rose 1.8 percent last month to $2.135 trillion—a figure that's 6.4 percent higher than at the end of 2014 and more than 20 percent higher than a year ago.

The most popular fund last month was the Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF (DBEF | B-73), as investors continued to seek refuge from the strength the dollar has exhibited against both the yen and particularly the euro in the past few years. So far this year, the dollar has gained more than 7 percent against the euro, though that trend did reverse in April, with the greenback slipping 3.7 percent.

Investors ended up pulling almost $16 billion out of U.S. equities, cutting into the more than $25 billion invested in non-U.S. equities funds like DBEF and the WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity Fund (HEDJ | B-55). Investors plowed more than $4 billion into DBEF and almost $3 billion into HEDJ, according to data compiled by ETF.com.


April 2015 Flows By Asset Class Net Flows ($M) AUM ($M) % of AUM
U.S. Equity -15.825.81 1.158.127.58 -1.37%
International Equity 25.277.86 530.295.31 4.77%
U.S. Fixed Income 3.555.45 308.601.20 1.15%
International Fixed Income 721.46 25.688.00 2.81%
Commodities -314.66 57.923.20 -0.54%
Currency 93.13 1.436.42 6.48%
Leveraged -1.362.89 25.509.67 -5.34%
Inverse 907.08 17.844.99 5.08%
Asset Allocation 232.39 6.107.98 3.80%
Alternatives 239.43 3.688.98 6.49%
Total: 1,3523.45 213,5223.32 0.63%


Ticker Fund Issuer Flows AUM ($M) Turnover
DBEF Deutsche X-trackers MSCI EAFE Hedged Equity ETF Deutsche Bank 4,223.25 11,486.67 5,040.66
HEDJ WisdomTree Europe Hedged Equity WisdomTree 2,845.42 19,684.35 9,024.92
EEM iShares MSCI Emerging Markets BlackRock 1,434.50 33,289.54 46,531.17
XLE Energy Select SPDR SSgA 1,336.54 14,764.03 24,334.28
EWJ iShares MSCI Japan BlackRock 1,268.29 18,645.67 8,787.07
VTI Vanguard Total Stock Market Vanguard 933.25 55,907.29 6,394.84
VEA Vanguard FTSE Developed Markets Vanguard 931.01 27,498.29 4,705.69
SHY iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond BlackRock 925.40 8,651.11 2,227.70
MDY SPDR S&P MidCap 400 SSgA 922.27 16,769.43 9,959.93
EZU iShares MSCI EMU BlackRock 867.20 10,782.08 4,058.38

A big piece of last month's outflows from U.S. equities was concentrated on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY | A-98). The world's biggest ETF suffered redemptions of more than $13 billion in April, pulling its assets down 6 percent to about $174 billion.

Overall, the flows picture suggests that the ETF industry remains in a high-growth mode. Year-to-date inflows of more than $72 billion—compared with $35.5 billion in the same year-earlier period, suggest total 2015 inflows are likely to eclipse the 2014 record of more than $243 billion.


Ticker Fund Issuer Flows AUM ($M) Turnover
SPY SPDR S&P 500 SSgA -13,166.99 173,943.78 443,639.54
IWM iShares Russell 2000 BlackRock -3,389.61 26,775.29 74,192.58
IYR iShares U.S. Real Estate BlackRock -1,057.31 4,937.55 15,138.05
XLF Financial Select SPDR SSgA -900.67 17,180.47 13,061.14
XLV Health Care Select SPDR SSgA -783.12 13,302.98 15,478.29
USO United States Oil US Commodity Funds -591.62 2,771.86 11,624.77
GDX Market Vectors Gold Miners Van Eck -544.40 6,376.01 18,247.93
DIA SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average Trust SSgA -482.98 11,505.91 20,080.87
XLP Consumer Staples Select SPDR SSgA -479.89 7,717.24 6,138.18
SHV iShares Short Treasury Bond BlackRock -474.17 4,102.42 1,541.43

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