US equity funds hit by outflows on rising yields, rates uncertainty

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(Reuters) – U.S. equity funds saw outflows for the first time four weeks in the seven days ended May 29, hit by rising bond yields and uncertainty over the timing and extent of Federal Reserve interest rate cuts.

According to LSEG Lipper data, net outflows from U.S. equity funds totalled $7.6 billion. This came as the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note reached a four-week high, following a survey that unexpectedly showed an improvement in consumer confidence in May.

During the week, financials and consumer discretionary sector funds recorded net outflows of $779.8 million and $379.3 million respectively. At the same time, industrials and tech sector funds each attracted over $200 million in net inflows.

Meanwhile, U.S. bond funds saw their first weekly net outflow of the year, driven by persistent inflation concerns and hawkish central bank rhetoric, which scaled back expectations for rate cuts to just one by the end of the year – significantly lower than the up to six anticipated at the start of 2024.

However, U.S. Treasury yields fell on Friday after data showed U.S. inflation stabilized in April, in line with expectations, suggesting the Fed’s rate cut plans later this year remained intact.

During the week, U.S. high-yield and inflation-linked bond funds saw net outflows of $376 million and $254.2 million respectively, while loan participation funds saw net inflows of $386 million.

U.S. money market funds also recorded their first net outflow in six weeks, totalling $2.3 billion.

(Reporting by Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Potter)

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