Are ETF investors losing confidence in the European recovery?

Nov 1st, 2017 | By | Category: Equities

Analysis of recent ETF flows signals ETF investors might be losing confidence in the European recovery story that has become something of a consensus trade lately. The Amundi ETF MSCI Europe Ex UK UCITS ETF (LON: AEXK) appears to have lost more than 70% of its assets in the month to 23 October while the Lyxor Euro STOXX 50 Daily Double Short UCITS ETF (Xetra: BXXP), which profits from falling eurozone stocks, saw its assets swell by more than 50%.

Are ETF investors losing confidence in the European recovery?

The Amundi MSCI Europe ex UK ETF has seen significant redemptions reduce its assets by more than 70% in a month.

Following significant redemptions from the fund, AEXK’s assets under management have dropped from €526m on 23 September down to just €120 million one month later. BXXP meanwhile saw inflows of €50m on just one day to increase its assets from €89m to €139m, as one or more investors took a large negative punt on the fortunes of European stocks.

When looked at together, the flows could be construed as a signal that ETF investors are not just taking their money off the table in Europe, but actively betting against it. The moves came in the build-up to the ECB press conference on 26 October, at which president Mario Draghi halved the pace of the ECB’s monthly asset purchase programme.

However, the investors responsible for the sizeable flows might have been left disappointed, as markets appear to have taken the announcement as good news – both the Euro STOXX 50 Index and the MSCI Europe Index have put on around 2.2% in the four days between the ECB meeting and 31 October.

The Euro STOXX 50 has performed strongly in the last year, up 18.0% in the 12 months to 25 October. BXXP is down 25.4% over the same period.

The MSCI Europe returned 23.0% in the 12-months to 29 September, while the MSCI Europe ex UK Index has fared slightly worse, returning 20.2% over the same period.

BXXP has a total expense ratio of 0.60%, while AEXK has a total expense ratio of 0.30%.

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