The latest ETF figures for the month of July are out, and the industry’s hot streak is alive and well. According to data put together by the National Stock Exchange, total ETF assets increased from about $788 billion in June to more than $835 billion at the end of July, a jump of more than 6% on the month. But much of those gains were attributable to increases in asset prices; cash inflows were just $9.5 billion, down from more than $12 billion in June.
Once again, inflows into fixed income ETFs were strong in July; this asset class saw about $4.8 billion come through the doors, bringing the 2010 total to $23 billion. International equities were also hot in July; $4.6 billion flowed into these funds on the month.
From an issuer perspective, the industry’s biggest players saw some of the biggest inflows last month; iShares raked in almost $7 billion while Vanguard’s inflows topped $2.8 billion. But the most impressive performance for July belonged to Global X. The New York-based issuer that recently rolled out a Lithium ETF, saw inflows of more than $100 million, or about 40% of June assets [see a list of all Global X ETFs].
Ticker By Ticker
At the individual fund level, there were plenty of interesting story lines in July. Interest in emerging markets ETFs remains red hot; EEM saw inflows of $1.5 billion while VWO took in more than $2 billion. That means that these two funds, both of which track the performance of the MSCI Emerging Markets Index, accounted for more than a third of total ETF inflows on the month. Moreover, VWO further narrowed the gap on EEM; the more expensive iShares fund now has a lead of less than $10 billion in total assets [see EEM vs. VWO: Five Critical Differences].
The biggest losers last month (in terms of cash outflows) were two State Street funds; the S&P 500 SPDR (SPY) saw outflows of $2.0 billion while the Gold SPDR (GLD) lost $1.4 billion. The iShares COMEX Gold Trust (IAU), which cut its expense ratio from 0.40% to 0.25% during the month, saw about $200 million of cash inflows in July. One month of data is obviously somewhat limited, but so far it seems the price cut has paid off; the iShares gold ETF has already closed the gap to its biggest competitor by nearly $2 billion.
Several ETFs launched during July finished the month with impressive hauls. The AdvisorShares Mars Hill Global Relative Value Fund (GRV) saw almost $40 million in inflows, as did Van Eck’s Emerging Markets Local Currency Bond Fund (EMLC). Both of those ETFs launched in July.
Another big winner was the smaller ETFs on the market was the Global X/Interbolsa FTSE Colombia 20 ETF (GXG), which saw about $18 million in cash inflows. That monthly haul was more than the fund’s total assets as the end of June (about $13 million). JP Morgan’s Alerian MLP ETN (AMJ), the first product in what has become a very popular space, took in nearly $250 million in July (about 20% of the previous month’s assets).
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Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.