U.S.-based municipal bond funds gained $602 mln in latest week -ICI
By Sam Forgione NEW YORK, May 22 (Reuters) - Investors in mutual funds based in the United States committed $602 million to municipal bond funds in the latest week, the most since mid-February, according to data released by the Investment Company Institute on Wednesday. The inflows to municipal bond funds in the week ended May 15 reversed outflows of $263 million in the prior week, said ICI, a U.S. mutual fund trade organization. The latest inflows were the most since the second week of February. Funds that hold taxable bonds pulled in $3.9 billion over the reporting period, down from $7.65 billion the prior week. The latest inflows, combined with the cash gains for municipal bond funds, led to total inflows of $4.5 billion for bond funds over the week. Stock funds attracted $2.38 billion in new cash over the weekly reporting period, down from inflows of $3.42 billion the previous week. Funds that hold non-U.S. stocks pulled in about $2.26 billion, while funds that hold U.S. stocks gained just $121 million in inflows. The benchmark S&P 500 rose 1.6 percent over the reporting period. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average closed at record highs on May 10, 14th, and 15th. Gains in the stock prices of large-capitalization companies such as Google, Bank of America, and Citigroup helped fuel rises over the period. Hybrid funds, which can invest in stocks and fixed income securities, pulled in $1.6 billion in new cash, up slightly from inflows of about $1.55 billion the previous week. The following table is a breakdown of estimated ICI flows for the past five weeks (all figures in millions of dollars): 4/17/13 4/24/13 5/1/13 5/8/2013 5/15/2013 Total Equity 2,620 1,333 -4,408 3,421 2,380 Domestic 1,974 -575 -4,100 363 121 World 646 1,908 -308 3,059 2,258 Hybrid* 1,305 1,358 6,480 1,545 1,602 Total Bond 1,509 5,681 926 7,391 4,523 Taxable 2,205 5,568 853 7,654 3,921 Municipal -696 114 72 -263 602 Total 5,434 8,372 2,998 12,358 8,505 *Hybrid funds can invest in stocks and/or fixed income securities.