ICI's weekly "Money Market Fund Assets" report shows MMF assets jumping again in the latest week, their 3rd week in a row of strong gains. Government, Prime and Tax Exempt MMFs all increased. Overall assets are now up $70 billion, or 2.5%, YTD, and they've increased by $167 billion, or 6.1%, over 52 weeks. Retail MMFs, which broke above the $1.1 trillion level, have increased by $87 billion, or 8.6% YTD, while Inst MMFs, which broke above the $1.8 trillion level, have decreased $18 billion, or -1.0%. Over 52 weeks, Retail money funds have gained $118 billion, or 12.0%, while Inst money funds are up $49 billion, or 2.8%. We review the latest asset figures, and also give a preview of our pending Money Fund Portfolio Holdings data, below.

ICI writes, "Total money market fund assets increased by $23.20 billion to $2.91 trillion for the week ended Wednesday, November 7, the Investment Company Institute reported today. Among taxable money market funds, government funds increased by $14.59 billion and prime funds increased by $7.31 billion. Tax-exempt money market funds increased by $1.30 billion." Total Government MMF assets, which include Treasury funds too, stand at $2.234 trillion (76.8% of all money funds), while Total Prime MMFs stand at $538.4 billion (18.5%). Tax Exempt MMFs total $135.5 billion, or 4.7%.

They explain, "Assets of retail money market funds increased by $9.97 billion to $1.10 trillion. Among retail funds, government money market fund assets increased by $5.72 billion to $656.95 billion, prime money market fund assets increased by $2.97 billion to $316.42 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $1.28 billion to $127.53 billion." Retail assets account for over a third of total assets, or 37.9%, and Government Retail assets make up 59.7% of all Retail MMFs.

ICI's release adds, "Assets of institutional money market funds increased by $13.23 billion to $1.81 trillion. Among institutional funds, government money market fund assets increased by $8.87 billion to $1.58 trillion, prime money market fund assets increased by $4.34 billion to $222.00 billion, and tax-exempt fund assets increased by $18 million to $7.93 billion." Institutional assets account for 62.1% of all MMF assets, with Government Inst assets making up 87.3% of all Institutional MMFs. (See also Reuters' brief, "U.S. Money Market Fund Assets Post Biggest Rise in Five Months: IMoneyNet.")

Crane Data's latest monthly Money Fund Portfolio Holdings statistics will be published later today (Friday), and we'll be writing our normal monthly update on the October 31 data in Monday's News. But we've also been generating a separate and broader Portfolio Holdings data set based on the SEC's Form N-MFP filings. (We continue to merge the two series, and the N-MFP version is now available via Holdings file listings to Money Fund Wisdom subscribers.) Our summary, with data as of October 31, includes holdings information from 1,224 money funds (down from 1,227 on Sept. 30), representing $3.191 trillion (up from $3.132 trillion). We review the latest data below.

Our latest Form N-MFP Summary for All Funds (taxable and tax-exempt) shows that Repurchase Agreement (Repo) holdings in money market funds broker over $1 trillion, totaling $1,001.5 billion (up from $986.6 billion on Sept. 30), or 31.4% of all assets. Treasury holdings total $846.0 billion (up from $827.3 billion) or 26.5%, and Government Agency securities total $665.3 billion (down from $660.2 billion), or 20.8%. Commercial Paper (CP) totals $250.0 billion (down from $250.9 billion), or 7.8%, and Certificates of Deposit (CDs) total $195.9 billion (down from $180.3 billion), or 6.1%. The Other category (primarily Time Deposits) totals $129.3 billion or 4.1%, and VRDNs account for $103.0 billion, or 3.2%.

Broken out into the SEC's more detailed categories, the CP totals were comprised of: $156.7 billion, or 4.9%, in Financial Company Commercial Paper; $46.3 billion or 1.5%, in Asset Backed Commercial Paper; and, $47.0 billion, or 1.5%, in Non-Financial Company Commercial Paper. The Repo totals were made up of: U.S. Treasury Repo ($596.0B, or 18.7%), U.S. Govt Agency Repo ($367.7B, or 11.5%), and Other Repo ($37.7B, or 1.2%).

The N-MFP Holdings summary for the the 221 Prime Money Market Funds shows: CP holdings of $245.4 billion (up from $246.5 billion Sept. 30), or 32.9%; CD holdings of $195.9B (up from $180.3B) or 26.3%; Repo holdings of $121.4B (down from $121.8B), or 16.3%; Other (primarily Time Deposits) holdings of $88.0B (up from $85.0B), or 11.8%; Treasury holdings of $50.9B (down from $62.8B), or 6.8%; Government Agency holdings of $37.8B or 5.1%; and VRDN holdings of $6.7B, or 0.9%.

The SEC's more detailed categories show CP in Prime MMFs made up of: $156.7 billion, or 21.0%, in Financial Company Commercial Paper; $46.3 billion, or 6.2%, in Asset Backed Commercial Paper; and, $42.4 billion, or 5.7%, in Non-Financial Company Commercial Paper. The Repo totals include: U.S. Treasury Repo ($42.8B, or 5.7%), U.S. Govt Agency Repo ($40.9B, or 5.5%), and Other Repo ($37.7B, or 5.1%).

Finally, the Federal Reserve left rates unchanged yesterday, but is expected to increase rates again in December. The latest FOMC statement says, "Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in September indicates that the labor market has continued to strengthen and that economic activity has been rising at a strong rate. Job gains have been strong, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has declined. Household spending has continued to grow strongly, while growth of business fixed investment has moderated from its rapid pace earlier in the year. On a 12-month basis, both overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy remain near 2 percent. Indicators of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed, on balance."

The Fed continues, "Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. The Committee expects that further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate will be consistent with sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee's symmetric 2 percent objective over the medium term. Risks to the economic outlook appear roughly balanced. In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the Committee decided to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2 to 2-1/4 percent."

They add, "In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments."

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