LONDON (Reuters) – Investors stepped up buying of riskier assets such as stocks last week while pulling money out of safe-haven gold, BofA said on Friday, as major vaccine breakthroughs extended hopes that economies could move closer to normality in 2021.
World stocks hit fresh highs in December after best-ever monthly gains on hopes of a swift vaccine-driven economic recovery next year. BofA expects global gross domestic product to rise 5.4% in 2021, the strongest gain in nearly half a decade.
A record $115 billion was poured into equity funds in the past four weeks, the U.S. investment bank said, citing data from EPFR. Equity funds saw $9.7 billion of inflows for the week ending Dec 2.
Safe-haven gold, by contrast, has seen $9 billion in outflows in the last three weeks.
The past 10 months has been characterised by the “quickest bear market of all-time… greatest policy panic of all-time… greatest Wall Street rally of all-time,” BofA said.
Vast government spending and central bank stimulus have also raised expectations for a return of inflation from its decade-long slumber. That helped Treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) attract $2 billion last week, the second-largest weekly total.
BofA also noted the “dollar debasement” theme, saying should the dollar index dip below 90, there could be a disorderly drop in the world’s top currency and lead to disorderly jump in U.S. Treasury yields and a likely pop in speculation in bitcoin. The index against other major currencies was at 90.567 on Friday.
A dramatic post-summer decline in dollar has coincided with a spectacular rally in bitcoin, which has risen nearly 170% this year to record high levels.
Graphic: Bitcoin’s 2020 rally versus dollar –
Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan; Editing by Tommy Wilkes and Kim Coghill