Investment fund assets down 10% in March as COVID-19 worries spread

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TORONTO — The Investment Funds Institute of Canada says fund holdings dropped by about 10 per cent in March from a month earlier, as investors worried about the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The institute says mutual fund assets were down by $159.9 billion compared with February, to $1.45 trillion, while net redemptions totalled $14.1 billion compared with net sales of $8.16 billion a month earlier.

Exchange-traded fund assets totalled $190.3 billion, down by $20 billion, and net sales totalled $3 billion for the month compared with $8.5 billion in February.

Investment assets had also seen some declines in February, including a 3.1 per cent decrease in mutual fund assets and a 0.3 per cent decline in ETF assets.

Total ETF net assets were still higher in March than a year earlier, while mutual fund assets were down from March 2019.

Markets saw significant rebounds in the last week of March and into early April, though were still well off the levels of late February.

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