Tech stocks, emerging market debt see inflows on “stagflation” bets


Investors rushed to scoop up emerging market debt and technology shares in the week to Wednesday, BofA Securities said in a weekly note, with the U.S. investment bank’s own private clients boosting their equity allocations to a record high.

Equity funds pulled in $12.7 billion while bond funds attracted $12.6 billion, BofA found, citing EPFR data. Cash was also surprisingly in demand with inflows at a five-week high at $15.2 billion.

Real estate investment trusts, seen as providing high but sustainable returns, benefited from an overall macroeconomic picture marked by slowing growth and rising inflation, enjoying their biggest inflow in 2-1/2 years at $1.8 billion.

And even though private clients boosted their equity allocations to a record high of 65.3% at the expense of bonds and cash, their asset allocation has tilted towards bank loans, inflation protected securities and utility shares.

Financial stocks were hit by a $2 billion outflow, and clients pulled $200 million out of gold.

“The macro backdrop is higher inflation, hawkish central banks, weaker growth which means stagflation,” analysts led by Michael Hartnett at the bank said in a note.

BofA said the flood of cheap central bank money sloshing in financial markets is set to slow. It expects bond purchases by global central banks to fall to $0.3 trillion in 2022, a fraction of $2.3 trillion in 2021.