UPDATE 1-Cash trickles back to emerging markets, faces growth challenge
(Updates throughout, adds background, PMI index, quotes)
By Sujata Rao
LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Investors are starting to move back in to emerging stocks and bonds after a long hiatus, data from fund tracker EPFR shows, but the economic slowdown gripping the developing world is likely to constrain market rallies.
Emerging stock and bond funds saw their first weekly inflows after more than $50 billion fled in the first three months of 2014, with equities snapping a 22-week losing streak, Boston-based EPFR Global said.
The company, which tracks funds with $23 trillion in assets, released details of first quarter flows late on Thursday, showing that all emerging equity fund categories had shed $41 billion, following $26.7 billion losses in 2013.
But these funds received $2.5 billion in the week to April 2, with 95 percent of this taken in by exchange-traded funds (ETFs), EPFR said, adding that "there were signs of a thaw".
China, India, Russia and Brazil enjoyed the biggest inflows.
Emerging debt funds received just over $1 billion in the past week, EPFR said, noting that the funds had posted outflows in 12 of the 13 weeks in the first quarter, when losses amounted to $17.2 billion.
Banks and investors have started buying back into the emerging market story, noting that sector valuations now are cheap enough to compensate for economic weakness and political risks. Continuación...