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CHART CENTRAL

Asset managers ditch U.S. equities, perhaps not by enough

The one thing asset managers in the U.S., U.K. and the rest of Europe agreed on over the four quarters ended Sept. 30 was that it was time to reduce their U.S. equity positions. U.S. managers lowered their position by 6% during the 12-month period, while U.K. managers lowered their U.S. holdings by 11.2% and European managers outside the U.K. lowered theirs by 7.5%. Data provided by eVestment did not give dollar figures for the trailing 12 months, but during the third quarter U.S. managers sold a net $87.9 billion of domestic stock.

U.S. fixed income was slightly more in favor across the observed managers, with U.S. investors increasing their position by 1.8%, including a net $72 billion inflow during the third quarter. U.K. investors increased their U.S. fixed-income holdings by 10.1%, but eVestment noted that much of that went to enhanced cash management strategies, the bulk of which was moved in the third quarter.

European managers eschewed developed market assets in favor of both emerging market equity and fixed income, increasing their positions by 5.2% and 6.8%, respectively. Emerging market debt was also something everyone could agree on, albeit to varying degrees. U.S. interest was comparatively mild, while U.K. managers went in with both feet.

Since the Sept. 30, U.S. equity markets have declined 9.25% as measured by the Nasdaq composite index; emerging market equities have fallen 4.85% over that period.