Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record in Dec. despite declines for China and Japan

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WASHINGTON – Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings to a record in December even though the two largest holders of U.S. government debt — China and Japan — reduced their shares.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose 1.4 per cent in December to $5.79 trillion, surpassing the old record set in March of $5.73 trillion. Foreign holdings had fallen from April through July before rising again in August.

China, the largest foreign buyer of Treasury debt, reduced its holdings to $1.27 trillion in December. That marked a 3.6 per cent drop from China’s November level of $1.32 trillion, a record for that country.

Japan, the second-largest buyer, trimmed its holdings to $1.18 trillion in December. That was down 0.3 per cent from November’s total, a record for Japan.

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