Tax-exempt money market funds started the new year on a positive note, as a modest $857 million of new cash increased total net assets to $290.77 billion in the week ended Jan. 2, according to the Money Fund Report, a service of iMoneyNet.com.

By contrast, the funds ended 2011 with $511.9 million of outflows and assets decreased to $289.91 billion in the week ended Dec. 26.

The average seven-day simple yield for the 456 tax-exempt money funds reporting this week remained at 0.01% for the 18th week straight, while the average maturity fell one day to 32.

Meanwhile, the assets of the 1,113 taxable reporting money funds fell by $23.34 billion, taking total net assets to $2.357 trillion for the week ended Jan. 3. That was a turnaround from the previous week when, just as the year was winding down, $17.46 billion of inflows boosted total assets to $2.381 trillion.

This week, the seven-day yield for the taxable funds remained at 0.02% for the 23rd consecutive week, while the average maturity decreased by one day to 41.

Overall, the combined assets of the 1,569 funds in the report decreased by $22.48 billion and settled with $2.648 trillion in the week ended Jan. 3. The outflows came as the funds celebrated the end of 2011 with $16.96 billion of inflows that saw total net assets rise to $2.670 trillion.

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