Assets in long-term mutual funds rose $3.99 billion in the week that ended Jan. 21, led by an increase in equity fund assets, according to the Investment Company Institute.

Equity funds recorded inflows for each of the first three weeks of this year, the Washington research group said Wednesday. But equities typically see investor interest early each year as they put money to work in retirement accounts.

During the week that ended Jan. 21, total assets under management in long-term mutual funds rose for the fourth consecutive week. Inflows in equity funds rose to $2.5 billion, including $2.07 billion from domestic investors.

Assets held in hybrid funds fell by $313 million; that was the only fund group to record a drop for the week.

Bond fund inflows slowed from the previous two weeks, to $1.79 billion. Among those funds, assets in taxable funds grew $974 million, while assets in municipal funds grew $821 million.

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