An unpromising start to the year as Brexit looms

Although the UK stock market made a modest recovery in January, the uncertainty of Brexit continued to undermine confidence. So, following on from a grim second half last year, fund managers faced another difficult month at the start of 2019, seeing net redemptions across the board. With derisking at the top of the agenda, the highest outflows in January were from equity funds, while the poor performance of absolute return funds continued to drive heavy withdrawals from these products. Redemptions from bond funds persisted, and withdrawals from property funds rose due to increasing worries about the impact of Brexit on commercial property. Positive sales of funds of funds were the only bright spot – but even here net flows were well below last year’s average.

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