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Thursday, June 06, 2013

Swooning for ETFs

Reported by Nicole Spector

There's a big boom in the ETF industry, and it looks like it is not subsiding anytime soon.

As of last month, U.S.-listed ETF assets clocked in at $1.501 trillion, up by nearly one percent. Equities are all the rage, while gold is in a major rut.

The spike in growth was helped by the total inflows of more than $20 billion, a 2.1 percent rise in the S&P 500 Index, IndexUniverse reports in its May 2013 ETF Fund Flows data.

Japanese equity funds were red-hot, with investors pouring bucks into them. The WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund (DXJ) [profile] alone scored $2.39 billion. The fund ended the month with just under $10 billion.

"Investors have bought into the possibility that Japan's strategy may work," says Olly Ludwig, managing editor of IndexUniverse.com.

The non-currency-hedged iSharesMSCI Japan Index Fund (EWJ) [profile] ended the month at $11.23 billion.

Of the $20 billion total inflows incurred, $19 billion went into equities.

Gold, as told by the world's largest physical gold ETF, took a repeated beating last month. SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) [profile] ended the month with roughly 11 percent less than its April assets.

"The whole reason for gold to play a prominent role in invest portfolios are beginning to be questions," says Ludwig.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index Fund (EEM) saw outflows of nearly $2 billion, ending May with $41.78 billion in assets, down from about $45 billion at the end of April.

The overall moral of the story? Investors have a healthy appetite for risk, so eat up.  

You can see the full data by IndexUniverse here.  

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