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iShares ETF trading volumes settle, but assets grow

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The latest trading and asset volume figures for iShares exchange-traded funds at the end of September have shown ETF trading volumes settling down from August, following a less turbulent p

The latest trading and asset volume figures for iShares exchange-traded funds at the end of September have shown ETF trading volumes settling down from August, following a less turbulent period and the Fed’s decision to cut interest rates by 50 basis points. As a result, iShares trading declined from USD11.4bn in August to USD9.1bn in September. However, total assets under management increased to USD29.5bn.

As anticipated, investors reallocated back into the equity iShares product range after the August credit crunch and, significantly the VIX Index, a widely used measure of equity volatility, fell from its August high of 30.83 to settle at 18.00 by the end of September.

The iShares FTSE BRIC 50, which offers exposure to Brazil, Russia, India and China, had an excellent month and saw trading increase by 130.91 per cent. It more than doubled in size over the month, with assets under management growing from USD21.5m in August to USD46.5m by end-September.

Trading activity for the iShares DJ Euro Stoxx Growth increased by 75.32 per cent as investors looked to capitalise on growth strategies’ recent outperformance of value strategies. The fund roared to life in September, with USD44.2m in net new assets, and total assets rising 44.8 per cent to USD175.2m.

The iShares MSCI Emerging Markets also increased trading volumes from August and added USD69.7m in new assets. The recent interest in emerging markets was reflected in the MSCI Emerging Markets index climbing to new heights in the last week of the month, to close at an all time high of 1204.9 at the end of September.

The iShares FTSE 100 continued its strong growth from August, with USD98.6m in new assets for September, as the FTSE 100 closed at 6466.8, up 2.5 per cent for the month, a strong recovery from its August low of 5858.9.

Looking ahead, investors will be closely scrutinising economic data and corporate results for any signs that the relative calm brought about by last month’s Fed cut will persist or be disrupted. With markets already fragile, any resurgence in volatility will no doubt push ETF trading back toward the peaks seen in August.

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