Newsletter June 2017
INTERNATIONAL UPDATE - CHINA BUYING U.S. TREASURIES AGAIN
Currently valued at over $13 trillion, the U.S. Treasury Bond market continues to be the world’s largest and most liquid bond market, attracting capital from foreign central banks seeking safety and stability.
Federal Reserve data as of May 17 shows that foreign central banks held nearly $3 trillion of the $13 trillion Treasury market, an increase of over $60 billion since the beginning of the year. Of the various foreign buyers, China’s central bank has increased its Treasury holdings the most by $29 billion to a total of $1.08 trillion. China is currently the second largest holder of Treasuries, with Japan the largest holder.
A reversal in the U.S. dollar has also helped propel buying by foreigners in order to help stabilize their local country currencies. U.S. Treasuries continue to offer higher yields than other developed country debt such as Japan or Germany, attracting yield seekers.
For the first time in almost 30 years, China’s government debt rating was lowered in May by one of the major credit reporting agencies, Moody’s. Such a move could diminish China’s ability to borrow funds from domestic and foreign investors.
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Source: Federal Reserve Foreign Holdings Report, Moody’s