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U.S.-based stock funds attract most cash in five weeks -ICI

    By Sam Forgione
    NEW YORK, April 26 Investors in U.S.-based
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds poured $4.7 billion into
stock funds in the week ended April 19, marking the biggest
inflows in five weeks as investors returned to U.S.-focused
share funds, data from the Investment Company Institute showed
on Wednesday. 
    Investors committed $1.3 billion to U.S.-focused stock
funds, marking their first inflows in three weeks and their
biggest in five as concerns over France's presidential elections
grew. 
    Funds that specialize in international shares attracted $3.5
billion. While those inflows more than doubled those into their
U.S.-focused counterparts and extended a streak of inflows that
began in early December, they marked the weakest demand for
international-focused stock funds in three weeks. 
    Bond funds attracted $3.2 billion, marking their lowest
inflows in five weeks but continuing a run of inflows that began
in late December. 
    Investors likely returned to funds that hold U.S. shares on
worries over French politics, said Alan Gayle, director of asset
allocation at RidgeWorth Investments in Atlanta.
    Centrist Emmanuel Macron's victory against anti-euro
nationalist Marine Le Pen in the first round of France's
presidential elections on April 23 sent stocks on both sides of
the Atlantic rallying, but worries had mounted ahead of the vote
about a potential victory for anti-EU candidates Marine Le Pen
and Jean-Luc Melenchon.
    "(The United States') relative issues are smaller than those
basic questions facing France, so I think there is a bias toward
moving back toward a relative safe-haven, and that has always
been the United States," Gayle of RidgeWorth said about the
inflows into U.S.-focused share funds. 
    Despite the political risk, European stock valuations were
still relatively attractive compared to those in the United
States, hence the steady inflows into international-focused
share funds, he said. 
    The following table shows estimated ICI flows, including
mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (all figures in millions
of dollars):
                    4/19      4/12      4/5     3/29       3/22
 Equity            4,730     3,101   -6,074    1,603     -1,782
    Domestic       1,258    -2,666  -12,724      303     -6,872
    World          3,472     5,767    6,650    1,300      5,090
 Hybrid             -596      -665   -1,467   -1,077       -779
 Bond              3,229     4,275   11,142    7,594     13,190
    Taxable        2,743     2,963   10,589    6,950     12,511
    Municipal        487     1,312      553      644        679
 Commodity           740       111     -125      100       -151
 Total             8,104     6,822    3,477    8,221     10,478
 
 (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Nick Zieminski)
  
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