Oil has been on an uptrend. Overall, SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY – Free Report) gained about 3.5% in a month’s time (as of Apr 27, 2018), SPDR Dow Jones Industrial Average ETF (DIA – Free Report) rose 2.9% while Nasdaq-100-bsed ETFPowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ – Free Report) jumped 4.2%.
Against this backdrop, let’s find out the top gainers in terms of asset growth in April (as of April 27, 2018) (source: etf.com).
Inside Investors’ Love for Bond ETFs
Investors would be surprised to know that six out of 10 top asset gatherers in April turned out to be bond ETFs. This happened despite a flare-up in rising rate tensions. U.S. Treasury yields were on an uptrend on a host of factors. While the 10-year benchmark U.S. Treasury yield crossed the 3% mark for the first time since January 2014, two-year U.S. yields are at 2008 highs(read: 8 Inverse Bond ETFs to Profit Out of Rising Yields).
Chances of a massive supply of government debt in the near term and the likelihood of the fourth rate hike led to gyrations in the fixed-income world in late April. The month started with benchmark treasury yielding 2.73%, which was the lowest in the month while the highest yield was 3.03% as of Apr 25.
Inside Winning Bond ETFs
Still, the top asset creation of $2.53 billion was noticed in iSharesShort Treasury Bond ETF (SHV – Free Report) . Since short-duration bonds are less sensitive to rising rates, investors may have chosen to hoard assets in it. However, long-term bond fund iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT – Free Report) too addedabout $1.64 billion. Trade tensions and selloffs in the tech space probably have led investors to seek safety in this long-term bond fund.
Moreover, iShares Core U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF (AGG – Free Report) generated $1.61 billion in assets, iShares Floating Rate Bond ETF (FLOT – Free Report) raked in $1.21 billion (as this is a great bet in a rising rate environment), iShares iBoxx $ Investment Grade Corporate Bond ETF (LQD – Free Report) saw inflows of $926.1 million while iShares 1-3 Year Treasury Bond ETF (SHY – Free Report)generated about $850.7 million in assets.
Emerging Markets Gain Investors’ Favor
Emerging market investments continued to look up. The fundamentals are pretty pro-growth in emerging markets at the current level unlike in 2013 (famous for taper-tantrum). iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF IEMG hauled in about $1.84 billion in assets (read: Should You Buy EM ETFs Despite Trade War & Other Concerns?).
Developed Market Tops With Low Fee Products
Developed markets including the United States were also on investors’ radar. iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA – Free Report) tracing Europe, Australia and Far East was among the toppers with about $1.81 billion inflows.
Notably, despite targeting the EAFE market, iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (EFA – Free Report) lost about $887.5 million in assets. This could be because of expense ratio differentials and EFA charges (32 bps in fees) much higher than IEFA (8 bps in fees) (read: Q1 ETF Inflows Dive at BlackRock: Tough Road Ahead?).
Same was the situation with the U.S. ETFs. iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV – Free Report) , which charges 4 bps in fees, gained about $1.78 billion in assets while SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY – Free Report) ), which charges 9 bps, saw an outflow of about $3.56 billion worth of assets.
The iShares Barclays Short Treasury Bond Fnd (SHV) was unchanged in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, SHV has gained 0.11%, versus a -0.88% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Zacks Research.