Global ETF Inflows Drop 28% in August, BlackRock Says

Global ETF Inflows Drop 28% in August, BlackRock Says

Flows into equity and bond funds moderated from July.

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Flows into global ETFs slowed down in August, as investors added money to tech sector funds and emerging markets but as flows into equity and bond funds moderated, BlackRock said. 

Global exchange-traded funds received $65 billion in inflows globally, down from $90 billion in July, according to a new report released by the company. Flows into equity funds fell to roughly $46 billion from $61 billion in July and bond fund inflows fell to $22 billion from $32 billion—though tech investment for 2023 has already passed 2022 levels. 

Indeed, technology dominated the field of sector ETFs. Tech funds received $12 billion in August, bringing the total inflows year to date to $33 billion, which is already more than the $26 billion for all of 2022. Flows into emerging market funds overtook those for U.S. stock funds in August. U.S. funds made up 65% of stock fund inflows in July, but just 24% in August. U.S. funds received $11 billion during the month, compared with emerging market funds’ $22 billion—the third-largest monthly inflow on record for that category. 

Equity, Bond ETF Flows Slow, BlackRock Says

August was the third consecutive month of outflows for commodity ETFs, with funds in that category losing $3.2 billion in assets in August and $8.8 billion for June and July together. 

Gold funds marked a particular sore spot, shedding $8.7 billion from June through August and $7.6 billion year to date. Crude oil funds had $1.8 billion in outflows in August, though broad commodity funds were an exception, receiving roughly $300 million in inflows. 

Treasury ETFs Lead the Pack 

Fixed-income investing slowed down overall in August, but clear winners nonetheless emerged. Flows into government bond ETFs made up 83% of August inflows to fixed-income ETFs. 

“Inflows to government bond [ETF]s, particularly those based on U.S. Treasuries, dominated fixed income [ETF] buying throughout August, with $18.5 billion added,” Laura Cooper, senior macro investment strategist for iShares EMEA at BlackRock, said in a press release. 

Out of that $18.5 billion, $15.3 billion was in U.S. Treasuries, as high U.S. interest rates continue to attract bond investors. 

 Investors were less enthusiastic in other areas. They pulled $1.6 billion from high-yield bond funds and inflation-linked bond funds saw $1.9 billion in outflows as inflation has moderated in the past year. 

Correction: The flows mentioned in the story are for the global ETF industry. A previous version incorrectly said they were for BlackRock Inc.

Gabe Alpert is a former data reporter at etf.com with over seven years’ experience in financial journalism. He also previously contributed reporting and analysis to Barron’s Magazine, Investopedia and other publications.