By Nse Anthony-Uko
(Sundiata Finance) – Foreign investors are cutting back on capital flows to debts and equities in emerging market debt as the inflows reduced in September for the second straight month to $14.5 billion according to a survey from the Institute of International Finance (IIF).
The IIF survey showed that caution about the United States Federal Reserve’s path of interest rate hikes was a major factor in the reduced flows. The estimate marks the lowest level of inflows since January’s $13.2 billion reading and is a little more than $1 billion lower than August’s levels.
Emerging market stocks posted net outflows for the second month in a row, with $2.7 billion of capital flowing out from equities while emerging market debt saw $17.2 billion of inflows. In the third quarter there were $41 billion in total inflows to emerging markets, making it the weakest quarter since what IIF termed the “Trump tantrum” in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Despite the slowdown of investment and outflows from equity markets, September marked the 10th consecutive month of positive inflows for emerging markets overall. Emerging Asia led inflows, followed by Latin America.
IIF also reported this week that the seven-day moving average for its daily flows measure dropped to its lowest level since the U.S. election in November, noting that emerging market flows have been under pressure in recent weeks as the dollar strengthens and bond yields rise.
“Available daily data suggest that flows were particularly strong in the first half of the month but have weakened significantly since the (Federal Open Markets Committee) meeting,” IIF said in a statement. The Fed announced it would begin to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet at the conclusion of its September 19-20 policy meeting.