Investors pull $7.5 billion from PIMCO Total Return fund in July

William H. Gross' Total Return Fund, the world's biggest mutual fund, had its third straight month of withdrawals as investors continued to flee bonds.

Clients pulled an estimated $7.5 billion from Pacific Investment Management Co.'s Total Return Fund, research firm Morningstar Inc. said Friday in an e-mailed statement. The withdrawals left the fund with $262 billion in assets at the end of July, according to Morningstar.

Mark Porterfield, a PIMCO spokesman, didn't immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the withdrawals.

The flight from bond funds was triggered by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who rattled markets in May and June by outlining a plan to end the central bank's unprecedented asset purchases. Mr. Bernanke told reporters June 19 that policymakers might start decreasing those purchases later this year and end them by mid-2014 if the economy meets expectations.

Investors pulled about $60 billion from U.S. bond funds in June, the biggest monthly redemptions in records going back to 1961, according to estimates from the Investment Company Institute. They've pulled about $9.5 billion from the funds through July 24, according to ICI estimates.

PIMCO Total Return Fund had a record $9.9 billion in redemptions during June as the manager overall had $14.5 billion in net withdrawals.