Japan has maintained its hold for a second month on the No. 1 spot atop China among foreign owners of U.S. Treasury securities.
The Treasury Department reported Wednesday that total foreign holdings dropped 1.6 percent to $5.94 trillion in November following a 1.9 percent decline in October.
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Both Japan and China cut their portfolios in November but China's reductions were larger.
Japan's holdings declined 2.1 percent to $1.11 trillion, while China's holdings fell 6 percent to $1.05 trillion. October and November marked the first time that Japan has been in first place since February 2015, with China its usual No. 1 spot after that.
Ireland was in third place with holdings of $275.2 billion, up 1 percent from the previous month.