U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds had $10.5 billion of net outflows in April, marking the end of a record-setting 34-month net inflows streak during which they took in $1.8 trillion in assets, a State Street Global Advisors report shows.
The previous record, set in 2013, was 33 months, according to the U.S.-listed monthly flash flows report by Matthew Bartolini, head of SPDR Americas research at State Street Global Advisors. During that earlier streak, however, inflows totaled just $440 billion, underscoring how much the ETF market has grown in recent years, the report said.
"The theme of the month was derisking," Mr. Bartolini said in an interview Tuesday. "Broad-based risk-off sentiment percolated throughout the marketplace in April."
Equity funds led April's outflows at $20.3 billion, according to the report. That narrowly missed equity funds' worst-ever monthly outflows of $20.8 billion, set in May 2019, the report said. Driving the near-record outflows in equity funds overall were U.S. equity funds' $27 billion of outflows in April, their worst month of outflows ever.
Three funds focused on the S&P 500 index — the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust, iShares Core S&P 500 ETF and the Vanguard S&P 500 ETF — together accounted for $35 billion of net outflows, the report said. Absent those funds, equity ETFs would have seen $14 billion of inflows and U.S. equity funds would have netted $7 billion, the report said.
Fixed-income ETFs netted about $8.4 billion in April, primarily driven by ultrashort and short-duration government bond ETFs, Mr. Bartolini said.