Investors the world over pumped $4.7 billion into equity funds during the week ended May 4, with emerging market-focused funds accounting for almost a third of the total inflows.

During the week ended May 4, equity funds absorbed $4.7 billion of fresh capital, of which $1.2 billion went into emerging market equity funds, according to data compiled by international fund tracking firm EPFR.

However, Asia ex-Japan equity fund inflows fell to a six-week low as India hiked interest rates again and China’s central bank signalled that further tightening may be needed.

Overall, the global investor sentiment on BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) dedicated funds was mixed. In the year-to-date, dedicated BRIC equity funds have posted outflows totalling about $2.4 billion in 16 of 18 weeks.

However, the EPFR did not disclose specific outflow figures for India-focused funds. Outflows from China equity funds hit a 12-week high during the week ended Wednesday.

In sharp contrast, Russia-focused equity funds took in fresh money for the 29th time in 31 weeks since the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2010 despite the pummelling commodity and energy sector funds took during the same period.

“The major regional fund groups struggled as key central banks continue to struggle with inflation and the weaker growth among developed markets raised questions about commodities and exports,” the EPFR said.

Nevertheless, the latest infusion into emerging market equity funds marks the sixth straight week that these funds have attracted fresh capital despite increasing concerns over inflationary pressure and the global economic scenario.

As per the data, Latin America-focused equity funds posted outflows for the 14th time in the past 15 weeks.

Lacklustre macroeconomic data, turmoil in West Asia, inflationary pressure in emerging markets, the long-running euro zone debt crisis and post-earthquake economic challenges in Japan are becoming concerns of investors across the world, the report said.

In terms of sectors, worries over the global economic scenario pulled commodity sector funds, which registered $1.4-billion worth of net outflows during the period under review.

Funds focusing on gold and precious metals were “at the centre of action, with concerns that prices have climbed too far, given added weight by weaker macroeconomic data,” the report noted.

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