Vanguard indicated in a Thursday SEC filing it is postponing its plans to offer short-, intermediate- and long-term municipal bond index funds. Vanguard first submitted its registration statements in June.

A spokesman for the firm said it is a postponement, not a cancellation. The funds would have been Vanguard's first municipal bond index offerings.

“We think the delay is prudent given the high level of volatility in the municipal bond market today,” spokesman John Woerth told the Associated Press. “We think the volatility could affect the funds’ abilities to track their benchmarks and deliver on their stated objectives.”

Municipal bond funds declined 4.6% in the fourth quarter, their worst quarter since 1994. In addition, investors have redeemed $22.7 billion from muni bond funds in the past nine weeks.

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