World News

Bond fund outflows set weekly record as virus upends markets: Lipper

(Reuters) – Taxable bond funds shed $55.9 billion in the week to Wednesday, the largest weekly outflow on record according to Lipper data dating back to 1992, as markets continued to be roiled by the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. equity funds posted $7.45 billion in outflows, for their fifth straight week of outflows, while money market funds attracted a $148 billion, their second straight record week of inflows, according to the Lipper data.

Markets have seen extreme volatility as the spread of the coronavirus has sparked fears of a deep global economic slowdown.

Analysts polled by Reuters gave a median 80% chance of recession this year, while Bank of America economists on Thursday projected the U.S. economy declining 12% in the second quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> has fallen nearly 29% from its Feb. 19 record closing high. U.S. domestic equity funds have seen $41.5 billion in outflows in the four weeks since Feb. 19, according to the Lipper data.

Policymakers in the United States, Europe and Asia have slashed interest rates and opened liquidity taps to try to stabilize economies.

Bonds have also seen volatile trading. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note dropped to as low as 0.318% earlier this month but was back to 1.16% on Thursday. Illiquid markets continued to exacerbate the trading volatility.

(Reporting by Alden Bentley and Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Sandra Maler and Diane Craft)