UPDATE 1-US muni bond fund inflows top $1 bln for second week

Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:22pm EST

Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. municipal bond fund net inflows topped $1 billion for a second straight week at $1.44 billion in the week ended Jan. 16, according to data released by Lipper on Thursday.

While that was down from $1.55 billion of inflows in the previous week, the two weeks of inflows are a big reversal from net outflows reported in the weeks of Dec. 19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 when more than $2.7 billion was withdrawn by investors.

In the latest week, the four-week moving average turned positive at $641 million after being negative in the four prior weeks, said Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

Flows into high-yield muni funds jumped to $434 million from $278 million in the week ended Jan. 9. Exchange-traded funds also saw higher net inflows of $106 million compared with $21.9 million in the previous week.

BondDesk Group data for the week ended Jan. 16 showed retail investors bought 2.0 bonds for each one they sold, down from 2.2 the previous week. The total number of bonds bought was 61,759, while the number of bonds sold was 31,489.

The data is based on odd-lot customer transactions.