Some of the ETFs seeing the largest outflows as a percentage of assets included Direxion Daily Financials Bull 3X (FAS), as investors mostly struck a bearish tone in August. SPDR S&P Retail (XRT) saw $245 million flow out, leaving $641 million at the end of the month.
ProShares Ultra Dow Jones Oil & Gas (DIG) saw $166 million flow out, and iShares Netherlands (EWN) saw $26 million exit, leaving $83 million. SPDR KBW Regional Bank (KRE) saw $86 million flow out, leaving $449 million.
The aggregate data confirms what the individual fund data shows. Long-leveraged U.S. equity saw $2.4 billion in outflows, while short leveraged saw $900 million in inflows. Long U.S. equity saw $2.7 billion in inflows.
Global and international equity funds saw $800 million in outflows, while short-leveraged funds saw $95 million in inflows.Thanks to the assets flowing into VNQ, real estate long ETFs saw $805 million in inflows. Aside from the short bets in U.S. and global/international equity, almost all asset classes saw inflows across the spectrum of long and short funds, as investors increased their bullish and bearish positions. The exceptions were commodity long-leveraged, with $61 million in outflows and currency short-leveraged, with $5 million in outflows. The only asset class with net outflows was global/international, with $679 million exiting these ETFs, mainly through FXI and EEM. Trends to watch for in September will be the flows into gold and silver ETFs after their pop at the start of the month. Based on asset appreciation alone, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) should have retaken its position as the second-largest ETF, behind SPY. Also, another trend to watch is whether or not traders continue to pile into bearish ETFs as the rally grows long in the tooth and delivers more losses to the bears. -- Written by Don Dion in Williamstown, Mass.