In a year of punishing sales volatility, the fourth quarter began in lacklustre form. Net inflows remained comfortably in the black but there was clear evidence of tension in the air as volumes fell below the €10bn marker. A sense of unease pervaded every asset class; bond funds saw a 41% decline in net sales, whilst the all-weather popularity of mixed assets slumped by 36%, and this was the good news. More worrying was the tailspin that equities went into after two months of bullish flows into the emerging market products that almost raised equities out of redemption. Emerging markets remained a good story, although volumes shrunk by half to just €2.4bn. But, at the other end of the scale were painful withdrawals from Europe, and the UK as well as a fire sale of nearly €4bn from US stock funds, selectors no doubt positioning their portfolios for volatility in the wake of the US election.
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