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U.S. fund investors snub domestic stocks

NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. investors dashed into funds that buy stocks outside the country at the fastest pace since July, while pulling money out of domestic equities, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday. World stock mutual funds and exchange-traded funds attracted $6.5 billion during the week ended Nov. 8, the 49th straight week of inflows and the largest haul in 16 weeks, according to the trade group. That compares to $3.7 billion of withdrawals from domestic-focused stock funds. The data covers only funds based in the United States. U.S.-based bond funds attracted $5.4 billion during the week, marking their 46th consecutive week of inflows, ICI said. The data reinforces a theme in markets this year: U.S. stocks have scaled new peaks, yet U.S. fund investors are buying bonds and international stocks in greater amount than equities. The S&P 500 has gained 17 percent so far in 2017, including dividends. It is off about a percentage point from its closing high this month, on Nov. 8. Pimco global economic advisor Joachim Fels said it is wrong to see investors' moves into bonds this year as defensive. "I don't view this as an expression of fear," Fels said at Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit in New York on Tuesday. "It's moving to the riskier parts of the fixed-income credit spectrum." The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual funds and ETFs (all figures in millions of dollars):

11/8 11/1 10/25 10/18 10/11/2017 Equity 2,839 -1,624 9,999 12,609 3,407 Domestic -3,660 -5,454 5,159 6,968 -1,623 World 6,499 3,830 4,840 5,641 5,030 Hybrid -373 -999 -506 -724 -497 Bond 5,444 7,450 10,854 9,324 9,144 Taxable 4,541 7,224 9,942 8,383 8,671 Municipal 903 226 913 941 473 Commodity -153 -242 98 -428 265 Total 7,757 4,585 20,445 20,781 12,319

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)