<p>Emerging markets attracted close to $6 billion of fresh capital in equity funds during the first week of February, taking total inflows so far in 2012 to $17 billion.
During the week ended February 8, emerging markets equity funds drew their largest inflows in 68 weeks, pouring in $5.8 billion, sho data compiled by global fund-tracking agency EPFR.
This marks the sixth straight week of inflows for Emerging market equity funds.
“Better than expected US employment numbers, the perception that Greece would toe the line when it came to meeting the requirements for its next round of bailout funding and the neutral to easing bias evident among most major central banks all bolstered the case for emerging markets in early February,” EPFR said in its weekly report.
The total net inflow to emerging market equity funds, so far in 2012, has reached $17 billion, compared to a net outflow of $11.4 billion for the same period of 2011. Overall, the global equity funds absorbed $9.83 billion in the week ended February 8, marking the highest level in 44 weeks.
The rising tide in favour of emerging markets also lifted the flows into dedicated BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) equity funds, which recorded their biggest weekly inflow since the end of 2009.
Most of such funds invest in India as FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors) and the capital flows through this route are a key factor in the stock market trends in India.
According to the data available with capital market regulator, the Seurities and Exchange Board of India, FIIs made a net investment of $1.55 billion in Indian equities during the week ended February 8. Market analysts believe the strengthening rupee and easing inflationary concerns have helped foreign investors step up their buying activities in India in the recent past.
The flows into Asia (excluding Japan) equity funds were also bolstered by the renewed optimism about China's growth prospects, with China-focused equity funds absorbing another $341 million in their longest inflow streak since 2010-end.
In terms of sectors, commodity funds attracted the highest level of inflows ($941 million), with gold and precious metals funds accounting for $495 million. “The US recovery, the easing bias of many major central banks and the acquisitions drive by Chinese, Brazilian and Indian companies are underpinning the latest surge in flows,” EPFR noted.