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ISA investors shift back to equity funds

The most-bought funds and investment trusts in April included global equities, commodities and renewables – tentatively suggesting investor confidence is starting to return.

Hargreaves Lansdown, which analysed its investors’ purchases in April, said the data pointed to investors “picking positive on global equities in the new tax year.”

Index funds proved particularly popular.

However, HL warned that while there were some signs of confidence re-emerging, many investors remained cautious, with two money market funds included in the most-bought list.

Emma Wall, head of investment analysis and research at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: “Early-bird ISA trading in the new tax year reveals investor confidence is tentatively returning – with risk-on global equities, commodities and renewables among the most bought funds and investment trusts.”

She said the trend echoed the fund flows figures published by the Investment Association in March, which showed a rebound to £2bn inflows for the month, after a torrid previous 12 months of outflows across all sectors.

The previous year, investors pulled £3.5bn out of funds in March 2022 as Russia invaded Ukraine and consumer confidence tanked.

Ms Wall said: “Despite the continued war, high inflation and economic uncertainty, there are some green shoots, with companies including HSBC, Shell and British Airways parent group IAG posting positive results last week, and UK services PMI beating market expectations.”

But she said that not all investors were bullish on the market outlook.

“Alongside Asian, global and US equity buys, two money market funds make the top 10 most bought, showing clients are keen to keep their powder dry in anticipation of a further market fall.”

Top HL Fund Purchases, 6-28 April (net buys, alphabetical)

Abrdn Sterling Money Market

Fidelity Global Dividend

Fidelity Index World

Fundsmith Equity

Jupiter Asian Income

Legal & General European Index

Legal & General International Index Trust

Legal & General US Index

Royal London Short Term Money Market

Vanguard Life Strategy 100% Equity

 Source: Hargreaves Lansdown 

Top HL Investment Trust Purchases, 6-28 April  (net buys, alphabetical)

BlackRock World Mining Trust plc Ordinary 5p

City of London Investment Trust Ordinary 25p Shares

F&C Investment Trust plc Ordinary 25p

Fidelity European Trust plc Ordinary 2.5p

Greencoat UK Wind plc Ordinary 1p

Henderson Far East Income Ltd Ordinary NPV

JPMorgan Global Growth & Income plc Ordinary 5p

Law Debenture Corporation plc Ordinary 5p

Merchants Trust plc Ordinary 25p

Murray International Trust plc Ordinary 25p shares

 Source: Hargreaves Lansdown

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