WASHINGTON U.S. municipal bond funds posted net inflows of $306.31 million in the week ended May 15, a near 14-fold increase from the $22.06 million inflow recorded in the previous week, according to data released by Lipper on Thursday.
The four-week moving average remained negative, however, reflecting an average weekly outflow of $41.2 million over that stretch, said Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.
Beginning on March 6, the bond funds favored by retail investors experienced nine straight weeks of outflows during a run-up in the U.S. stock market.
So far this year, the funds have seen 10 weeks of investors pulling their money out. That stands in sharp contrast to 2012, as there were only four weeks of outflows throughout the year.
In the latest week, high-yield funds registered inflows - their first in a month - of $53.56 million, said Lipper. Last week, investors pulled $69.3 million out of the high-yield funds.
Exchange-traded funds had outflows of just $2,000, compared to inflows the previous week of $40.3 million.
Meanwhile, retail investors bought 1.6 muni bonds for every one they sold in the week ended May 15, down from 1.7 the previous week, according to BondDesk Group.
The number of bonds bought totaled 56,738, while the number of bonds sold was 35,609.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Dan Burns, G Crosse)