Working Paper No. 534
By Gino Cenedese and Enrico Mallucci
We study the relation between international mutual fund flows and the different return components of aggregate equity and bond markets. First, we decompose international equity and bond market returns into changes in expectations of future real cash payments, interest rates, exchange rates, and discount rates. News about future cash flows, rather than discount rates, is the main driver of international stock returns. This evidence is in contrast with the typical results reported only for the United States. Inflation news instead is the main driver of international bond returns. Next, we turn to the interaction between these return components and international portfolio flows. We find evidence consistent with price pressure, short-term trend chasing, and short-run overreaction in the equity market. We also find that international bond flows to emerging markets are more sensitive to interest rate shocks than equity flows.