NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. money market fund assets fell this week, retreating from their highest level since October 2009, suggesting a pause in investors piling into these low-risk products amid trade and economic worries, a private survey released on Wednesday showed.
Assets of money funds, which are seen nearly as safe as bank accounts, decreased by $12.24 billion to $3.316 trillion in the week ended Aug. 27, the Money Fund Report said on Wednesday.
This reduced the year-to-date increase in money fund assets to $345 billion.
Taxable money market fund assets declined by $11.30 billion to $3.181 trillion, while tax-free fund assets fell by $940.00 million to $134.75 billion, according to the report, published by iMoneyNet.
Money funds are offering investors higher yields than most Treasury maturities. They would fall if the Federal Reserve reduces borrowing costs further to counter a softening global economy and trade tensions between China and the United States.
The Fed cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 in July.
The iMoneyNet average seven-day simple yield for taxable money funds slipped to 1.75%, the lowest level since October, from 1.79% the previous week. The weighted average maturity among taxable funds lengthened by one day to 31 days.
The iMoneyNet average seven-day yield for tax-free and municipal funds edged up to 0.97% from 0.96%. The weighted average maturity of tax-free funds increased three days to 32 days.
On Wednesday, the yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR were 1.459%, within striking distance of a three-year low set on Monday, while two-year yields US2YT=RR sipped to 1.498%, hovering above near two-year trough reached earlier this week.
Only the longest U.S. Treasury securities are yielding higher than money funds. The 30-year bond yield US30YT=RR was 1.930%.
Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Will Dunham