LONDON (Reuters) - Investors pulled $21 billion from global equities in the past week, the highest weekly outflow since last August's China-related ructions, with almost half that amount withdrawn on the Monday after Britain's shock Brexit vote, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said on Friday.
Britain's June 23 referendum on European Union membership resulted in a shock win for the Leave camp, sending investors scurrying for the safety of bonds, pummeling stock markets and pushing sterling to 31-year lows against the dollar.
Economists predict Brexit will tip the UK into recession.
Those fears were reflected in fund flow figures, with $9.5 billion in equity redemptions on June 27 while weekly outflows were the biggest since August 2015 when China's unexpected yuan devaluation sent ripples through world markets, BAML said.
"Monday was redemptions day," the bank said in its weekly note, adding it had been the seventh-largest daily redemption in the past 10 years.
European equity funds lost $5.3 billion, the biggest weekly loss since October 2014 and the 21st straight week of outflows while UK stocks shed $0.6 billion and emerging markets lost $1.3 billion. British equities have lost money nine out of the past 10 weeks, the report noted.
BAML said bond funds saw with $1.4 billion the biggest net outflow since January, led by high-yield bonds that lost $3.4 billion and small losses from emerging and government debt funds.
As investors dashed for safety, precious metals took in $2.1 billion, the largest weekly take since February and money market funds received $3.8 billion.
However, markets have rebounded from initial Brexit-fueled falls, and world stocks are set to end the week around 3 percent higher <.MIWD00000PUS>. Britain's FTSE is headed for its biggest weekly gain in 4-1/2 years, up more than 6 percent <.FTSE>.
The vote and its potential to wreak economic havoc is leading markets to price in additional stimulus everywhere - Bank of England governor Mark Carney has already signaled policy easing in coming months while the U.S. Federal Reserve is now not seeing raising rates this year.
BAML noted "frothy bull markets in government and investment grade bonds, high quality, high yielding stocks, and bear market in banks, exacerbated by the belief (that) every single interest rate in the world heads to zero."
It also attributed the snap-back partly to "buy" signals triggered by the extreme negative turn in sentiment.
"The post-Brexit surge in bearishness is one factor for wicked counter-rally in risk," the bank told clients.
It added: "Emerging markets are in a good place with 'one and done' Fed."
(Reporting by Sujata Rao; Editing by Toby Chopra)