More than $11 billion poured into money market mutual funds last week, pushing assets to yet another record, the Investment Company Institute reported.

These funds held $716.97 billion in the seven days ending July 12, a 1.6% gain. Holdings of money market funds have climbed $88.8 billion, or 14.1%, since the beginning of the year, and new highs are being reached almost weekly.

Most of last week's increase - $8.2 billion - occurred in funds for institutional investors. They closed the week with $218.77 billion in assets, a 3.8% jump.

That includes $192.99 billion of taxable funds, up $9.08 billion, and $25.77 billion of tax-exempt funds, down $883.8 million.

A spokesman for the institute, a Washington-based trade group for the mutual fund industry, said the runup seemed to be related to the Federal Reserve's decision last week to nudge down a key interest rate by 25 basis points.

"The decline in rates made direct investments less attractive to institutional investors than just putting money into funds," said the spokesman, John Collins. He added that the $11 billion gain is "small by historical standards."

Money market funds for retail investors also shared in the gains. They attracted $3.01 billion of fresh assets, closing the week up 0.6%, to $498.2 billion.

Taxable funds for retail investors held $398.06 billion of the total, up $1.41 billion. Tax-exempt funds had $100.14 billion of assets, a $1.60 billion rise.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.