Investors are fleeing from stock funds like it's 2007 again

After China’s stocks tumbled on Monday (quickly referred to as Black Monday), European and US equities followed, falling through the floor.

Volatility exploded, and the VVIX index (which measures the volatility of the VIX volatility index) hit levels not seen during the 2008 financial crisis.

That explosion of uncertainty and the plunging stock markets around the world have given equity funds a terrible week, according to Bank of America Merril Lynch’s “flow show” roundup.

In fact, the daily outflows from equity funds hit their highest level since 2007 on Tuesday, when investors withdrew $US19 billion (£12.32 billion), an astonishingly large figure.

Here’s how it looks:

But the figure for the week as a whole is even worse — a collective $US29.5 billion (£19.13 billion) flooded out of equity funds over the week, and that’s the worst since BAML’s data begins, going all the way back to 2002.

You can see when it’s broken down that every category of stocks except Japan has seen investors rushing for the doors:

All this shows just how panicked investors were by the action this week. BAML’s note shows the largest outflows from emerging market, high yield and investment grade bond funds since the 2013 “taper tantrum,” when then Fed chair Ben Bernanke started talking about winding in the US central bank’s quantitative easing programme.

All that means the bank’s “bull and bear index” has fallen to its most bearish level since January 2012.

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