LONDON - Investment flows into gold in the week to Wednesday reached their highest in almost a year, as the metal trades at all-time peaks, prompting investors to shift funds from cash equivalents and stocks, Bank of America Global Research said Friday.

Inflows of $1.1 billion into gold funds were the most since May 2023, BofA said in its weekly roundup of flows in and out of world markets, which cites data from EPFR.

On Thursday, gold prices rose to the latest in a series of all-time highs. As it does not bear interest, gold has been supported by expectations central banks will cut rates this year, lowering yields on other asset classes.

Meanwhile, cash, which has seen heavy inflows in recent weeks and months had a weekly outflow of $61.2 bln, the most since October 2023, BofA said.

Central banks' gradual shift towards cutting rates has underpinned market moves, BofA said, and that it explained why nominal assets, such as stocks and gold, were at all-time highs.

"Central banks (are) tolerant of higher inflation, intolerant of currency appreciation, anxious for a soft landing but also to alleviate the burden of a record $82 trillion of global government debt," the analysts wrote in a report.

This week markets became more confident rate cuts will happen this year.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept rates steady but reiterated its projection that it will cut interest rates by 75 basis points by the end of the year.

On Thursday, the Bank of England said the British economy was heading in the right direction for cuts, and the Swiss National Bank surprised markets by cutting rates.

The BofA also flagged a $22 billion outflow from U.S. equities, the largest in more than a year for another asset class that had seen recent substantial inflows that helped to drive U.S. share benchmarks to all-time highs, and a $100 million outflow from crypto funds.

(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Amanda Cooper and Barbara Lewis)