U.S.-based stock mutual funds post 3rd straight week of inflows: ICI

NEW YORK Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:44pm EST

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S.-based stock mutual funds attracted $6.35 billion in new money in the latest week, their third consecutive week of inflows, data from the Investment Company Institute showed on Wednesday.

Among the inflows into stock mutual funds in the week ended January 23, an estimated $3.49 billion went into funds that hold U.S. stocks, according to ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization.

The remaining $2.86 billion flowed into mutual funds that hold foreign stocks, it said.

The cash gains confirm the positive turnout for stock mutual funds since the start of the year, although they marked the weakest gains of the three-week run.

The funds attracted $14.33 billion in the first full week of the year, the most on a record that extends back to the start of 2007, ICI said. In the following week, the funds gained $9.2 billion.

Bond funds, meanwhile, attracted $8.03 billion in new cash in the latest week, which was compared with cash gains of $10.6 billion the prior week.

The benchmark S&P 500 index rose 1.5 percent over the reporting period. Signals that Republican leaders would pass a nearly four-month extension of the U.S. debt ceiling, upbeat data on U.S. unemployment claims and strong earnings from technology companies all boosted sentiment.

Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed-income securities, attracted $1.94 billion in inflows. That sum is modestly less than inflows of $2.12 billion the previous week.

(Reporting by Sam Forgione, editing by Gary Crosse)

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