(Reuters) – Global equity funds attracted a net $6.5 billion in the seven days through March 6, driven by weak U.S. manufacturing data and Federal Reserve policymakers’ remarks which fuelled expectations of interest rate cuts later this year.

This marked a second consecutive week of inflows into global equity funds, LSEG data showed.

Last week, U.S. central bankers indicated that, despite a recent uptick in price pressures, broader progress on inflation could pave the way for interest rate cuts later this year.

The MSCI World Stock Index reached a record high of 774.66 on Friday, buoyed by earlier testimonies from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, which reinforced expectations of upcoming rate cuts. By region, Asian funds attracted about $2.89 billion during the week, their eighth consecutive week of net purchases. European and U.S. funds also reported net inflows of approximately $1.9 billion and $1.2 billion, respectively.

The technology sector continued to draw investor interest, with $1.45 billion in fund inflows, marking its eighth week of net purchases.

Meanwhile, the consumer discretionary and industrials sectors attracted $726 million and $611 million in net investments, respectively. By contrast, the financial sector saw net withdrawals of $834 million.

Global bond funds experienced a significant influx, amassing $18.04 billion worth of inflows, the largest weekly amount since mid-April 2021.

Medium-term U.S. dollar bond funds were particularly popular, attracting about $3.7 billion, the largest net inflow since May 3, 2023. Corporate and government bond funds also saw inflows of $3.06 billion and $2.23 billion, respectively.

Money market funds meanwhile, saw $57.3 billion worth of net buying, the largest weekly net purchase in eight weeks. Among commodities, precious metal funds saw outflows for a 10th consecutive week, totalling about $788 million on a net basis. Energy funds also had $121 million of net disposals.

Emerging markets were out of favour as investors remained net sellers of debt funds for a seventh successive week. They also offloaded about $1.73 billion worth of equity funds to withdraw the biggest amount since Jan. 24, data covering 29,724 funds showed.

(Reporting by Gaurav Dogra and Patturaja Murugaboopathy in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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