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Mutual fund redemptions rose in April and ETF net sales declined even as fund assets gained ground, according to the latest data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC).

The fund industry trade group reported that mutual fund net redemptions increased to $4.6 billion in April from $3.4 billion in March.

That rise came as long-term fund net redemptions edged higher, rising from $5.2 billion in March to $5.6 billion in April. At the same time, net sales of money market funds declined from $1.8 billion in March to just over $1 billion in April.

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The rise in long-term net redemptions was led by the equity category, which saw redemptions climb from just under $2 billion in March to $2.8 billion in April.

This was partly offset by an increase in bond fund net sales, which increased to $853 million last month from $497 million.

Balanced fund net redemptions eased a bit in April, declining to $3.9 billion from $4.2 billion in the previous month.

Despite the overall increase in net redemptions, however, mutual fund assets rose by $22.2 billion in April to $1.9 trillion, IFIC reported. This marked a 1.2% gain in assets under management.

In the ETF sector, net sales remained in the black in April at almost $2.1 billion. However, this was down sharply from net sales of $6.84 billion in March.

The decline in overall ETF net sales was driven by a drop in net sales for long-term ETFs, which fell from over $6.0 billion in March to $934 million in April.

Here, too, equity funds were the primary culprit, as equity ETFs swung from $3.8 billion in net sales in March to $319 million in net redemptions for April.

Bond ETF sales also dropped from $2.3 billion in March to to $860 million in April.

Conversely, specialty fund net sales swung from $190 million in net redemptions for March to $252 million in April net sales.

Money market ETF net sales rose from $795 million in March to $1.15 billion in April.

The overall drop in ETF fund sales also came against the backdrop of rising assets.

IFIC reported that ETF assets under management rose by 2.1% in April to $344.1 billion, a $6.9-billion increase.