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U.S. government bonds

China cuts U.S. treasuries holding in July

WASHINGTON, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- China, the top buyer of U.S. Treasury securities, cut its holding in July for two months running, the latest data from the U.S. Treasury Department showed on Friday.

China shed its treasuries holding by 22 billion U.S. dollars in July, with the total holding down to 1.2188 trillion dollars. It has cut its treasuries holding for two consecutive months. [China held the record $1.317 trillion of U.S. debt in November 2013.]

全球央行抛售美债创近40年新高

Global central banks are unloading America's debt.
In the first six months of this year, foreign central banks sold a net $192 billion of U.S. Treasury bonds, more than double the pace in the same period last year, when they sold $83 billion.
China, Japan, France, Brazil and Colombia led the pack of countries dumping U.S. debt.

It's the largest selloff of U.S. debt since at least 1978, according to Treasury Department data.
"Net selling of U.S. notes and bonds year to date thru June is historic," says Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, an investing firm in Virginia.

U.S. Treasurys are considered one of the safest assets in the world. A lot of countries keep their cash holdings in U.S. government bonds.
Many countries have been selling their holdings of U.S. Treasuries so they can get cash to help prop up their currencies if they're losing value.
The selloff is a sign of pockets of weakness in the global economy. Low oil prices, China's economic slowdown and currencies losing value are all weighing down global growth, which the IMF described as "fragile" earlier in the year.

Who are they selling to? The answer: private demand, in other words just like in the stock market the retail investor is the final bagholder, so when it comes to US Treasuries, "private investors" are soaking up hundreds of billions in central bank holdings.

The largest sellers of Treasuries in June, based on transaction data, were China, with sales of $28.0 billion, Japan, with sales of $13.2 billion and Hong Kong, with sales of $10.8 billion. Alternatively, the largest buyer in June by far was the Cayman Islands, with purchases of $28.3 billion; this is another name for "hedge funds." The UK was a distant second, with purchases of $5.1 billion.

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