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Investors scoop up billions in bonds, most since July -ICI

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Investors throttled up their bond exposure in the latest week, adding the most cash to U.S.-based debt funds since July as momentum for U.S. stock funds stalled, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday. More than $11 billion rolled into U.S.-based bond mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) during the week ended Sept. 20, including a 42nd consecutive week of inflows for taxable-bond funds, the trade group said. Domestic stock funds continued to struggle, with outflows of $2.1 billion during the week, according to the ICI. Meb Faber, chief investment officer at Cambria Investment Management LP, said people may be starting "to get jittery" about U.S. stocks after an unusual bull run that has lasted more than eight years fueled by demand for ETFs and corporations buying back their own stock. "The outlier really is the U.S. on the expensive side. Most of the rest of the world is normal to quite cheap," said Faber. "People may just be running out of places to find yield." World stock funds also netted cash for the 42nd consecutive week, attracting $3.1 billion during the seven-day period. International stocks are on pace to chart their best performance against U.S. equities since the 2009 global financial crisis, according to MSCI Inc data. They underperformed in each of the last four years. The rebound in international stocks is likely to be sustained, Faber said. "We think it is a multi-year process."

The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):

9/20 9/13 9/6 8/30 8/23/2017 Equity 1,007 5,003 -231 8,190 -1,808 -Domestic -2,137 2,096 -2,937 3,683 -4,687 -World 3,143 2,907 2,706 4,506 2,880 Hybrid 903 -903 -1,184 -758 -1,236 Bond 11,083 9,583 6,453 5,354 5,314 -Taxable 10,171 8,674 5,926 4,601 4,074 -Municipal 912 908 527 753 1,240 Commodity -134 125 980 982 604 Total 12,858 13,808 6,018 13,768 2,874

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Richard Chang)