Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities fell in April, the first setback since October.
The Treasury Department says total holdings slipped to $6.14 trillion, down 0.6 percent from the record level of $6.18 trillion in March.
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China, the No. 1 foreign holder of U.S. government debt, boosted its holdings a slight 0.2 percent to $1.26 trillion in April following a 3 percent rise in the previous month. The big March advance allowed China to regain the top spot in foreign ownership of Treasury securities after having relinquished the No. 1 ranking in February.
Japan, which had briefly surpassed China, trimmed its holdings by 0.9 percent in April to $1.22 trillion. It remained in second place.
Demand for U.S. government debt is expected to remain strong this year.