ETF Assets Down Nearly 4% in August

September 9, 2011 ( - ETF assets fell $42 billion in August, down 3.8%.

According to State Street Global Advisors’ ETF Snapshot report, 1,116 Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – with assets totaling $1 trillion – were managed by 36 ETF managers as of August 31, 2011.  

Both the MSCI EAFE Index and the S&P 500 Index fell, losing 9% and 5.4%, respectively. Commodities also suffered, with the S&P GSCI Index down 1.8%, even though Gold soared 11.4%. U.S. Bonds were also positive with the Barclays U.S. Treasury up 2.8% and the Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index up 1.5%.   

ETF flows topped $2 billion in August. The Fixed Income category continued to see positive inflows attracting $4.8 billion in the month and $23.6 billion year-to-date. With $2.9 billion leaving the category, the International – Emerging category saw the most significant outflows.   

Concerning market performance, International – Developed and Emerging Markets declined 9% and 8.9%, respectively. Domestic Large Cap, Mid Cap and Small Cap Markets all continued to decline, dropping 5.4%, 7.1%, and 7.7%, respectively. Conversely, the U.S. Aggregate, the U.S. Treasury, and the U.S. Corporate bond markets were all positive in August. Commodities dipped 1.8%.   

According to SSgA data, the top three managers in the U.S. ETF marketplace were BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard. Collectively, they account for approximately 83% of the U.S.-listed ETF market.   

The top three ETFs in terms of dollar volume traded for the month were the SPDR S&P 500 [SPY], iShares Russell 2000 [IWM], and SPDR Gold Shares [GLD]. The top three ETFs in terms of assets for the month were the SPDR S&P 500 [SPY], SPDR Gold Shares [GLD], and Vanguard Emerging Markets [VWO].