By Sumit Roy
Energy funds pulled in nearly a half-billion dollars in new inflows, bucking the trend for commodity-related, exchange-traded funds that saw other sectors lose or struggle for investment capital.
Energy funds attracted $478 million in inflows, while industrial metals eked out a $3 million inflow. On the flip side, precious metals saw a $182 million outflow, agriculture lost $90 million and broad market (multicommodity) ETPs shed $5 million.
On the back of the energy inflow, overall commodity-related ETPs had a net inflow of $204 million, bringing total assets under management to $132 billion.
Energy ETPs dominated the individual flows chart, taking all five spots. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) gained $506 million; VelocityShares 3X Inverse Natural Gas ETN (DGAZ) garnered $58 million; ProShares UltraShort DJ-UBS Crude Oil (SCO) added $36 million; First Trust ISE-Reverse Natural Gas (FCG) saw an inflow of $23 million; and
Stock markets plummeted while commodities handily outperformed this week. Precious metals, energy and copper all registered gains - only the grain complex fell in the period. The S&P 500 lost more than 2 percent amid concerns about valuations and slow earnings growth, and the index is now down 1.3 percent since the start of the year.
The first-quarter corporate earnings season began this week amid concerns that stock valuations may be too rich following last year's 29 percent rally in the S&P 500. Only a few companies reported this week - notably, shares of banking giant JPMorgan (JPM) plunged after missing expectations.
Overall, analysts are expecting earnings to only have grown 1 percent to 1.5 percent from a year ago during the first three months of the year. Such a slow pace of profit growth has raised fears that stocks may be overvalued.
After Thursday's two percent decline in the S&P 500, below is a look at how asset classes across the financial spectrum performed.
What a brutal stretch it has been for US equity investors. Growth name weakness has spilled over into the rest of the market for the time being, and US-focused ETFs are showing it, drastically underperforming peer indices in the rest of the developed world and the emerging markets alike. While returns haven't been spectacular recently anywhere outside of EM, the persistent selling in US markets hasn't been replicated to the same degree, although Italy, Japan and Russia have been the laggards among international equity markets.
In non-equity asset classes, there's an entirely different feel. Currencies, commodities, and fixed income focused funds are all thumping equity allocations. Precious metals are still down month-to-date, but continued volatility