Foreign holdings of U.S. government debt fell in March, at a time when panic over the COVID-19 pandemic was driving volatility in the world’s safest market to highs unseen since 2009.
Treasury’s report showed total foreign ownership of Treasuries dropped by a record amount...
In fact this was a record monthly sale of US Treasuries by central banks...
And record selling by foreign private investors...
In aggregate it was a record month of selling for all US assets but the Treasury selling ($299.3BN) was offset by...
buying of $61.5BN in Agencies
buying of $3.177BN in Corporate Bonds
buying of $6.812BN in Stocks
(We do note that TIC data are mark to market, so the value of holdings are driven in part by price swings in the relevant month and as liquidity crises struck, we saw bonds getting sold along with everything else)
The total for China - the second-largest holder of U.S. government debt - sank $10.7 billion in March to $1.08 trillion. Japan still has the largest pile of Treasuries outside the U.S.; the value of its holdings rose $3.4 billion to $1.27 trillion.
Saudi Arabia dumped a record $25.3 billion in US Treasuries...(which makes sense as petro-exporters dumping anything and everything for liquidity)
But while they were all selling US Treasuries, they were buying something...
As the recent trend of rotation from US Treasuries to gold continues.