In recent days, asset managers have experienced some of their largest weekly outflows ever with investors taking out $30.6bn (€25bn) from global equity funds due to Wall Street’s volatility, according to reports citing EPFR data.
Spanish and Italian fund selectors may have been the most surprised as, at the end of last year, they were the most positive on global equity funds and generally in favour of expanding their holdings in the asset class, according to Expert Investor research.
Before the global selloff, the Spaniards were also the most positive when it came to equity funds in general, apart from US equities.
Looking at global equity funds, 33% of Spanish selectors surveyed said they would increase their holdings over the next 12 months, 56% said they would hold, 6% said they would decrease, and 6% said they did not use the asset class.
Their sentiment was up from Q3 2017 with one-third saying in Q4 that they wanted to load up on global equities.
On the Italian side, 43% said they would increase their global equity fund holdings, 35% would hold, 4% would decrease, and 17% did not use the asset class. This equates to twice as many Italian selectors wanting to buy global equities compared to the European average.
The Italians also had the highest sentiment towards global equity funds across the equity fund category.
The pan-European aggregate sentiment towards global equities was only slightly positive. The research suggested that this was because other selectors preferred to allocate to their own regions and that sentiment had become marginally negative in several countries.
For the Danish, the data suggested they were the most prepared for the market shake up as they were found to be the most negative towards equities in general.
The Danish selectors were the most negative towards global equity funds with 13% wanting to increase their holdings, 44% intending to hold, 25% wanting to decrease, and 19% did not use the funds.
Their sentiment since Q2 has taken a dip with a steady increase of selectors intending on decreasing their global equity fund holdings.