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"Epic" flows to tech funds as "buy-the-dip" rules -BAML

* Equities inflows on $17.7 bln as "Buy-The-Dip" rules

* Bull & Bear signal pulls back to 7.6, still "very bullish"

* Tech fund inflows 4th highest on record

LONDON, March 2 (Reuters) - Investors, apparently convinced that the equity rally has further to run, ploughed a net $17.7 billion into stocks over the past week, with tech funds recording "epic" inflows, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) said on Friday.

The recent market rout, sparked by inflation expectations, pushed U.S. Treasury yields higher and tore through bond and equity markets, but it may have got investors into a "Buy-The-Dip" mood, generating inflows of a "modest" $2.3 billion into bonds and $0.6 billion into gold, BAML strategists said, citing EPFR data.

Geographically, the U.S. attracted "massive" inflows of $8.6 billion and emerging markets $3.9 billion, while Japan saw money come in for a 13th straight week and flows into Europe continued.

Looking at the sector breakdown across equities, tech attracted the fourth-highest inflows on record at $1.3 billion, while energy suffered the biggest redemptions since October 2014 at $1.1 billion.

"Crowded trades are tech, EM & financials," BAML strategists noted.

By style, U.S. large caps raked in the biggest flows at $9.1 billion followed by growth stocks at $2.9 billion, while both value and small caps suffered outflows.

However, there were a number of reasons for another $6 trillion correction, warned BAML strategists, referring to the amount wiped off the global equity markets cap in the sell off.

Positioning showed "peaking optimism...Bull & Bear Indicator still in very bullish territory," BAML said, referencing the hefty equity inflows and its "Bull & Bear" indicator of market sentiment standing at 7.6.

Looking at U.S. 12-month earnings-per-share estimates, profits were "peaking" while on the policy side global central banks will have played the "whatever it takes" card and by year's end, the Fed will have hiked interest rates nine times since the start of the cycle.

Protectionism could rear its head, while a trough in inflation, rates and volatility - all drivers of bull markets in corporate bonds and equity markets - could challenge the consensus, BAML said.

Politics also shaped flows, with three-month inflows into politically stable Japan contrasting with "big consistent outflows in politically unstable Italy".

On Sunday, Italians vote in a national election that is expected to result in a hung parliament, where no one party or coalition has a majority to form a government. Polls suggest the only group with any chance of getting a parliamentary majority is a centre-right coalition built around the 81-year-old, four-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

Across fixed income, investment grade funds have enjoyed inflows in 61 of the past 62 weeks, adding $1.1 billion, while high yield continues to suffer for the seventh straight week, bleeding $1.1 billion. Emerging markets saw robust flows of $2 billion.

(Reporting by Karin Strohecker; Editing by Jon Boyle)