Foreigners Sold U.S. Treasuries at Record Pace in October

  • Net selling at $55.1 billion, equity selling at $17.2 billion
  • China, Japan reduce holdings of Treasuries during month

Foreigners sold a record net amount of U.S. Treasuries in October as global market turbulence eased and the Federal Reserve signaled it was prepared to raise interest rates in December.

Net foreign sales of Treasury bonds and notes were $55.1 billion during October, according to Treasury Department data released Tuesday in Washington. That compares with net purchases of $17.4 billion in September and the previous record net sales of $55 billion in January, according to data compiled by Bloomberg dating to 1977.

Net selling of U.S. equities by foreign investors was $17.2 billion, the report showed.

In addition to figures on international capital flows, the Treasury also releases data on foreign holdings of U.S. government debt.

China, the biggest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, had $1.25 trillion in bonds, notes and bills in October, down $3.2 billion from a month earlier, according to the Treasury figures. Japan, the largest holder after China, reduced its holdings by $27.9 billion to $1.15 trillion, the lowest level since August 2013.

The Treasury’s report showed net foreign selling of long-term securities totaling $16.6 billion in October, the first outflows since January. It showed a total cross-border inflow, including short-term securities such as Treasury bills and stock swaps, of $68.9 billion.

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