BofA Says Cash Is King as Investor Pessimism Hits 2008-Era High

Investors are flocking to cash and shunning almost every other asset class as they turn the most pessimistic since the global financial crisis, according to Bank of America Corp. strategists.

Cash had inflows of $30.3 billion, while global equity funds saw outflows of $7.8 billion in the week through Sept. 21, the bank said in a note, citing EPFR Global data. Bond funds lost $6.9 billion, while $400 million left gold, the data showed.

Investor sentiment is “unquestionably” the worst it’s been since the crisis of 2008, with losses in government bonds being the highest since 1920, strategists led by Michael Hartnett wrote in the note. They see cash, commodities and volatility continuing to outperform bonds and stocks, with Bank of America’s custom bull and bear indicator returning to the maximum level of bearishness.

Fears over inflation and rising rates deepened this week on signs that the Federal Reserve won’t soften its resolve to tighten monetary policy even if aggressive rate hikes tip the economy into a recession. Global risk assets were roiled again, with the S&P 500 Index on course for its fifth weekly decline in six and nearly erasing gains made over the summer following a stronger-than-expected earnings season.

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