Municipal bond mutual fund flows remained strong as they continue to ride a wave of fierce investor demand.
For the week ended Feb.1, muni bond funds saw $502 million of inflows from funds that report their flows weekly, according to Lipper FMI. That’s down slightly from the amount seen in the week ending Jan. 25, when there were net inflows of $513 million.
It marks the ninth straight week of positive flows, and the 20th week out of the past 22.
Muni yields outperformed those of Treasuries across the curve. Throughout the week, all triple-A muni yields except 10-years tied or broke record lows. Investors continued to take their cues from the low supply, a strong need to put their money to work, and the recent announcement by the Federal Open Market Committee to keep rates low through 2014.
The bad days of large municipal outflows are receding ever more into the distance. But investors can still recall when money poured from muni funds with abandon between mid-November 2010 and early June 2011, typically by more than $1 billion a week. In the week of Jan. 19, 2011, investors in weekly reporting funds withdrew more than $4 billion.
This past week, assets for funds that report their flows weekly fell for a second straight week to $278.4 billion from $279.4 billion the previous week.
The value of the holdings for weekly reporting funds increased by $2.52 billion. The week before, they decreased by $839 million.
The four-week moving average for all municipal bond mutual funds that report their flows weekly saw a $784 million inflow, down slightly from a $789 million gain the week before.
High-yield muni funds saw an uptick in inflows. They have been in the black for eight of the past nine weeks.
Funds that report weekly saw inflows of $186 million, Lipper said. The previous week, high-yield funds reported inflows of $91 million.
Assets for high-yield funds that report their flows weekly rose for the eighth time in nine weeks. They ended at $36.35 billion, up from $35.34 billion the previous week.
The value of the holdings for weekly reporting funds increased by $436 million. Last week, they fell by $71.1 million.
The four-week moving average for all high-yield muni bond funds that report their flows weekly was a $203 million inflow, up from a $152 million inflow the week before.