WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) - U.S. municipal bond funds made a sharp U-turn in the week ended May 29, posting net outflows of $156.86 million after $63.47 million of inflows the week before, according to data released by Lipper on Thursday.
The four-week moving average remained positive, though, at $58.74 million, said Lipper, a unit of Thomson Reuters.
The holiday-shortened week was rocky for municipal bonds and ended a three-week streak of inflows to the funds. Investors shunned fixed-income assets over concerns the Federal Reserve would begin winding down its monetary stimulus as the economy strengthens.
Investors withdrew money from high-yield municipal funds for a second week in a row, with outflows growing to $166.35 million from $123.15 million the week before. Exchange-traded funds also registered outflows, of $16 million, compared to $10.1 million inflows the previous week.
Meanwhile, retail investors bought 1.7 muni bonds for every one they sold in the week ended May 29, up from a ratio of 1.6 the week before, according to BondDesk Group.
The number of bonds bought totaled 47,997, while the number of bonds sold was 28,454.