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U.S. equity funds receive big inflows as investors downgrade Omicron impact -Lipper

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(Reuters) - U.S. equity funds received robust inflows for a second week in the seven days to Dec. 29 as investors welcomed signs that the Omicron coronavirus variant won't bring a big setback to the economy.

According to Refinitiv Lipper data, U.S. equity funds lured net purchases of $19.43 billion, compared with their average weekly inflow of $2.3 billion, received this year.

Graphic: Fund flows: U.S. equities, bonds and money market funds- https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/myvmnbnqqpr/Fund%20flows%20U.S.%20equities%20bonds%20and%20money%20market%20funds.jpg

Wall Street's main indexes posted solid gains this week. The S&P 500 and the Dow marked a record high on Thursday as some early studies on Omicron cases pointed to a reduced risk of hospitalization, easing concerns about the variant's impact on the economy.

Sentiments were also boosted by reports suggesting that U.S. retailers' holiday sales were strong.

U.S. growth and value funds both posted a second straight week of inflows with net purchases of $7.69 billion and $2.36 billion respectively.

Graphic: Fund flows: US growth and value funds- https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/movanwnbzpa/Fund%20flows%20US%20growth%20and%20value%20funds.jpg

Among sector funds, financials and real estate funds drew inflows of $1.2 billion and $785 million respectively, although tech and consumer staples funds witnessed outflows of $592 million and $413 million respectively.

Graphic: Fund flows: US equity sector funds- https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/gkvlgbgqkpb/Fund%20flows%20US%20equity%20sector%20funds.jpg

U.S. bond funds secured inflows of $6.31 billion, their biggest weekly inflow in seven weeks.

Investors purchased U.S. taxable bond funds of $5.27 billion, marking the biggest weekly inflow since Nov. 10, while municipal bond funds saw net buying worth $1.13 billion.

U.S. general domestic taxable fixed income funds drew inflows of $1.93 billion, the largest in seven weeks. U.S. short/intermediate government and treasury funds and inflation protected funds attracted $929 million and $637 million respectively.

Graphic: https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/mkt/zdvxoqojepx/Fund%20flows%20US%20bond%20funds.jpg

Meanwhile, U.S. money market funds saw net purchases worth $32.71 billion, their biggest weekly inflow since Oct. 27.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra in Bengaluru; editing by Grant McCool)

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