China's Holdings of U.S. Treasuries Fell $5.8 Billion in April

(Bloomberg) -- China remained the largest foreign owner of Treasuries in April even with a slight drop in holdings, as the Asian nation’s appetite for U.S. government debt shows few signs of waning amid growing tensions over trade.

China’s holdings of U.S. bonds, bills and notes decreased by $5.8 billion to $1.18 trillion in April, according to Treasury Department data released in Washington on Friday. The second-biggest foreign holder, Japan, saw its Treasuries drop by $12.3 billion to $1.03 trillion, the lowest since 2011. Overall, foreign ownership of Treasuries receded in April, falling to $6.17 trillion.

While investors grew jittery in March that Beijing would scale back purchases of Treasuries to retaliate against the U.S. for new tariffs, China has shown little interest in disrupting financial markets over trade. The Asian nation has instead pledged to impose levies of its own on American goods in response to President Donald Trump’s plan to slap tariffs on at least $50 billion of Chinese imports starting next month.

The yuan has depreciated about 1 percent against the dollar over the past month amid a broad decline in emerging-market currencies. The nation’s stockpile of foreign-exchange reserves fell for a second straight month in May, to $3.11 trillion, as a weaker exchange rate impacted the valuation of the dollar-denominated stockpile.

Additional analysis: China Cuts Treasuries; Foreign Buying in U.S. Rises

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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