UPDATE 1-U.S. muni bond funds post largest weekly outflow in 2013

Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:00pm EDT

April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. municipal bond funds reported net outflows of $630.66 million in the week ended April 10, the largest withdrawal so far this year, Lipper reported on Thursday.

The amount was more than twice the $278 million that left the funds the previous week and marked a sixth straight week of outflows. For most of 2012, money washed into municipal bond funds each week, but investors have recently shunned the funds as the stock market has climbed to record highs.

The four-week moving average grew to a net outflow of $303.16 million, compared to a week earlier, when it was $173.6 million, according to Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.

Exchange-traded municipal funds had net outflows of $12.5 million in the latest week, after net inflows of $2.73 million the prior week, Lipper said. In contrast, high-yield muni funds reported $66 million of net inflows in the latest week after posting $41.3 million of outflows in the week ended April 3.

Meanwhile, retail investors bought 1.6 muni bonds for every one they sold in the week ended April 10, down from 1.8 the previous week, according to BondDesk Group.

The number of bonds bought totaled 59,491, while the number of bonds sold was 37,655.

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