UPDATE 1-US municipal bond funds report $573.6 mln weekly inflows

Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:38pm EST

Jan 31 (Reuters) - The flood of investor money into U.S. municipal bond funds slowed in the week ended Jan. 30, with Lipper reporting on Thursday that there were $573.6 million of net inflows, two-thirds of the $871.43 million of inflows in the previous week.

Heavy inflows earlier in the month helped pushed the four-week moving to $1.11 billion, its highest level since Oct. 2009, according to Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

Investors poured money into the funds through most of 2012 until the final two weeks of the year, when there were outflows totaling more than $2.7 billion. But lately investors have returned, with four straight weeks of inflows.

Exchange-traded funds registered net inflows of $19.25 million in the week ended Jan. 30, a quarter of the $76.38 million inflows the week before. Meanwhile, high-yield funds had inflows of $82.8 million, 29 percent of the $278.68 million inflows the prior week.

Meanwhile, retail investors bought 1.6 bonds for every one they sold in the week ended Jan. 30, down from the ratio of 1.7 the prior week, according to BondDesk Group. The total number of bonds bought was 56,438, while the number of bonds sold was 35,271.

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