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April was the biggest month of 2019 so far for Canadian ETFs, with $2.3 billion flowing into funds, a report from National Bank Financial Markets says.

Fixed income funds continued their strong year, gaining $1.4 billion last month. Canadian aggregate bonds led the way, with a $822 million inflow, the report said.

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More than $3.6 billion has flowed into fixed income ETFs so far this year, accounting for more than half of the $6.2 billion in total flows into Canadian ETFs.

On the equity side, U.S.-focused ETFs saw inflows of $954 million, while international funds gained $357 million, with gains for both developed and emerging markets.

Canadian equity ETFs saw $561 million of redemptions, with outflows primarily from broad market and financial sector ETFs, the report said. Canadian factor-based ETFs fared better.

BMO led all companies with flows of almost $1.1 billion in April, followed by Vanguard ($570 million), CI First Asset ($160 million) and Franklin Templeton ($103 million).

As RBC and iShares’ launched their ETF alliance, five RBC ETFs merged into iShares products and one RBC ETF was delisted. RBC iShares saw $25 million in redemptions last month and $1.5 billion year to date, led by outflows of $1.9 billion from the iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index ETF ($527 million in April).

Three new ETFs launched last month: Evolve and Horizons’ respective U.S. marijuana products, and Brompton Funds’ converted closed-end Brompton European Dividend Growth, the report said.