Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record in January despite decrease by China

MarketsAssociated Press

Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in January despite a cutback by investors in China, the largest foreign owner of Treasury debt.

The Treasury Department says that foreign holdings increased 1 percent to $6.22 trillion from $6.16 trillion in December.

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China trimmed its holdings for a fifth month, reducing them 0.4 percent to $1.24 trillion after a 0.5 percent reduction in December.

Japan, the No. 2 foreign buyer, increased its holdings by 0.6 percent in January to $1.24. The Chinese total before rounding is $500 million higher than Japan.

Foreign governments, primarily through their central banks, account for two-thirds of the foreign holdings. For January, the total held by foreign governments rose 0.3 percent.