Foreigners Bought Most Stocks Since May 2011 In February, As Foreign Flows Become Manic Depressive

Tyler Durden's picture

The February TIC data is out and here are the notable items. Total long-term purchases across all securities classes came in at an underwhelming $10.1 billion on expectations of a $42.5 billion increase, although when combined with Short-Term transactions, the total rose to $107.7 billion, greater than expected. However, since this series includes extensive irrelevant noise, tracking just LT data on a sequential basis, shows that in February foreign purchases of the 4 key security classes (TSYs, Stocks, Agencies and Corporate bonds) came in at a relatively weak $24.8 billion, down from $95.7 billion in February, of which $15.4 billion was US Treasurys. What is notable is that equities accounted for $7.6 billion of this total, the largest foreign purchase of US equities since May of 2011. Well, if US consumers will not buy stocks at least foreigners stepped up, and it also explains where at least some demand came from.  It also means that the 6 month moving average of foreign stock dumping has finally reversed from all time lows. However, what chart 1 vividly shows, is that over the past several months foreign flows into US securities, previously stable regardless of global events, has also become Risk On - Risk Off, with ever increasing a monthly amplitude. In other words everyone now has a 30 day attention span tops. Finally, now that the UK has been "disambiguated" from Chinese data, and thus saw its holdings drop to a realistic $103 and about to slide into double digit territory for the first time in years, Chinese holdings in turn tose to $1178.9, the highest since the big selloff in December, while Japan continues to find better bargains in US paper, with its holdings soaring to a record $1.095.9 billion.

Total foreign flows into all US assets:

Foreign flows into US stocks:

Same with a 6 MMA: recently negative for the first time in years.

Foreign flows into US Treasurys:

And total monthly TSY holdings by country: