U.S. fund investors edged into stocks for the first time in four weeks, treating concern over the Iranian nuclear deal and Chinese-U.S. trade tensions as a buying opportunity, Investment Company Institute (ICI) data showed on Wednesday. Stock funds took in $2 billion during the week ended May 9, according to the trade group's data, which covers mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) based in the United States. During that week, investors grappled U.S. President Donald Trump pulling out of an international nuclear deal with Iran, raising the risk of conflict in the Middle East and casting uncertainty over global oil supplies. Meanwhile, China and the United States remained at odds over key aspects of their trade dispute. Talks between the countries are resuming this week. "This is becoming a very complicated market environment," said Kristina Hooper, global market strategist at Invesco Ltd . "We have all these geopolitical risks, and the geopolitical landscape continues to change almost daily." Hooper said volatility is likely to persist through 2018 not merely because of the international political environment but also because of lingering questions about how the Federal Reserve will respond to inflation and whether rising U.S. interest rates force investors to pull back from stocks. Bond prices have been under pressure in recent weeks, with yields on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries smashing through 3 percent this week. Rising rates erode the value of bonds, but investors continue to flock to them for the promise of higher payouts now that yields are higher and to counteract the risk that stocks short-circuit. Bond funds attracted $2.7 billion in the most recent week, according to the data. The following table shows estimated ICI flows for mutual funds and ETFs (all figures in million of dollars): 5/9 5/2 4/25 4/18 4/11/2018 Equity 2,030 -2,457 -879 -251 5,213 Domestic 1,302 -2,992 -3,777 -2,377 3,775 World 728 535 2,898 2,126 1,437 Hybrid -788 -887 -633 -1,090 -1,101 Bond 2,735 3,472 2,264 8,492 6,470 Taxable 2,383 3,635 2,360 9,321 7,166 Municipal 352 -163 -96 -830 -696 Commodity 242 -82 508 167 1,121 Total 4,219 45 1,259 7,317 11,703 (Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt Editing by James Dalgleish)

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