NEW YORK, March 1 (Reuters) - Overseas investors increased buying of emerging markets debt and equities last month to an estimated $17.1 billion, buoyed by largely positive political and economic news from the sector, the Institute for International Finance (IIF) said Wednesday.
February's total estimated inflows to emerging market assets was an increase from January's $14.1 billion total. It marks a second month of reversal from the capital outflows seen in the fourth quarter of 2016 from emerging market assets.
All four emerging markets regions tracked by IIF - Africa and the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin America - are estimated to have seen portfolio inflows in February for the first time since June 2016, the report stated.
"The positive economic data flow in EMs has been a significant source of support in January and February," IIF said in the report. "However, we remain cautious going forward."
Capital outflows from China continued in 2017, however, the IIF estimates the net outflows from China eased from $67 billion in December to $57 billion in January, marking the slowest pace of outflows since October 2016.
IIF estimates emerging markets will see $45 billion of inflows during the first quarter of 2017. (Reporting by Dion Rabouin; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)