NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - Stock funds worldwide attracted $4.4 billion in new cash in the week to Jan. 1, bringing 2013 inflows to a record $251 billion, data from a Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research report showed on Friday.
Last year's flows into stock funds were the largest since records began in 2002. Funds that specialize in U.S. stocks attracted $2.8 billion in the week, bringing inflows to about $115 billion in 2013, data from the report showed.
Investors committed $1.7 billion to funds that hold European stocks over the week, according to data from the report, which also cited data from fund-tracking firm EPFR Global. Those weekly inflows resulted in record $48 billion inflows in 2013.
Funds that hold Japanese stocks attracted $500 million in the latest week, bringing flows into the funds to a record $43.7 billion last year, the data showed.
Commodities funds, which mainly hold physical gold, had outflows of $800 million over the week, leading to record outflows of $46.1 billion from the funds in 2013.
Bond funds worldwide had outflows of $1.7 billion over the week, leading to meager inflows of $1.4 billion into the funds in 2013. Funds that hold Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities attracted $80 million in the latest week, however, marking their first inflows in 38 weeks.