UPDATE 1-U.S.-based stock funds attract $12 bln in latest week -Lipper
(Adds analyst comment, U.S. and Japanese stock market performance)
By Sam Forgione
NEW YORK Nov 29 (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds poured $12 billion into stock funds in the week ended Wednesday on positive U.S. economic figures, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Friday.
The inflows into stock funds in the week ended Nov. 27 were the biggest in five weeks. U.S. stock markets hit record highs on Nov. 22 after strong U.S. jobs data and assurances that the Federal Reserve would remain accommodative.
"It's more of a momentum-driven market," said Barry Fennell, senior research analyst at Lipper. Investors have more confidence in the "staying power" of the U.S. economic recovery, he said.
Data early in the reporting period showed that a number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits fell sharply over the prior week while a gauge of factory activity hit an eight-month high in early November.
The Standard & Poor's 500 stock index rose 1.5 percent over the weekly period.
Investors grew more assured that the Fed would keep official short-term interest rates low for some time, even if it does plan to scale back its $85 billion in monthly bond-buying, said Fennell.
Japanese stock funds attracted $691 million in new cash, marking their biggest inflows since July. Japan's Nikkei average rallied 2.5 percent over the weekly period.
Taxable bond funds, meanwhile, attracted just $141.5 million after outflows of $430 million the previous week. Fennell said that bond investors were more concerned about a pullback in the Fed's monetary stimulus than stock investors over the week.
Low-risk money market funds attracted $3.1 billion, marking their second straight week of inflows. Commodities and precious metals funds, which mainly invest in gold futures, had outflows of $868 million, marking their biggest weekly withdrawals since July.
Investors have grown fatigued by the weak performance of gold this year, said Fennell, who also said that greater confidence in the U.S. economic recovery has hurt demand for gold as a safety play. (Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Jan Paschal and Lisa Shumaker)
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