In a bid to raise cash, foreign central banks and government institutions sold $57.2 billion of U.S. Treasury debt and other notes in January, according to figures released on Tuesday. That is up from $48 billion in December and the highest monthly tally on record going back to 1978.It’s part of a broader trend that gathered steam last year when central banks sold a record $225 billion of U.S. debt.
“Foreigners have no longer been our BFF when it comes to buying U.S. Treasuries,” Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at The Lindsey Group, wrote in a client note.
So what are foreign central bankers doing with these piles of cash? They’re mostly using the funds to stimulate their own economies as the global growth slowdown and crash in oil prices continue to take their toll.
For instance, China has been liquidating its holdings of foreign debt to pump money into its slowing economy, plummeting currency and extremely volatile stock market. China, the largest owner of U.S. debt, trimmed its Treasury holdings by $8.2 billion in January, the Treasury Department said. The actual decline was likely larger considering China reported selling $100 billion of foreign-exchange reserves in January.
Full article: Foreign governments dump U.S. debt at record rate (CNN Money)