U.S. fund investors accelerate rotation to foreign stocks: ICI

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[May 11, 2017]  By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. fund investors charged into international stocks at the fastest pace in nearly two years, betting on a continued fillip for the global economy, Investment Company Institute data for the latest week showed on Wednesday.

 

Investors added $7.8 billion to U.S.-based mutual and exchange-traded funds invested in stocks abroad, the 22nd straight week of inflows and largest since July 2015, the trade group's data showed. There were $4.3 billion withdrawals from domestic equity funds for the week.

High-flying domestic equities are giving U.S. investors sticker shock after an eight-year bull market and upward run following the U.S. presidential election last year.

"Part of it is the U.S. is expensive, but there are genuinely good opportunities which are presenting themselves elsewhere," said Atul Lele, chief investment officer of Deltec International Group, citing Japan's equity markets as one of the best opportunities he sees in the world.

He said economic momentum in the United States is slowing, while global data improves.

"The U.S. expansion we saw from a few years ago is starting to expand out to the rest of the world," Lele said.

The money came into foreign funds during the seven days ended May 3, as anxious markets awaited a presidential runoff in France on Sunday that pitted centrist Emmanuel Macron's business-friendly vision of European integration against euroskeptic Marine Le Pen. Macron won.

U.S.-based bond funds pulled in $7.2 billion during the week, continuing a strong year for the funds and marking their 19th consecutive week of inflows, ICI said.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; editing by Grant McCool)

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