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Foreign holdings of U.S. long-term securities rise in December 2010

02-16-2011 16:51 BJT

WASHINGTON, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Total foreign holdings of U.S. long-term securities in December 2010 reached 4.37 trillion dollars, up 25.8 billion dollars, or 0.6 percent from the previous month, but China trimmed its holdings for the second straight month, the U.S. Treasury Department reported Tuesday.

The figures reflect demand for U.S. Treasury obligations and other assets including stocks and government agency debt, a key to funding the massive U.S. balance of payments deficit with the rest of the world.

According to the Treasury International Capital (TIC) report, China, the largest holder of U.S. Treasury securities, reduced its holdings from 895.6 billion dollars in November to 891.6 billion dollars in December. It trimmed its holdings in November from 906. 8 billion dollars in October.

However, Japan, the second largest foreign holder of U.S. government debt, raised its holdings by 6.4 billion dollars to 883. 6 billion dollars.

Britain, the third largest holder also boosted its holdings to 541.3 billion dollars in December from 511.8 billion dollars in November.

The debt figures are closely watched at a time when more and more Americans believe that the soaring U.S. debt is unsustainable. The federal debt has surpassed 14 trillion at the end of 2010 and the federal government is at the edge of bankruptcy if the Congress does not increase the debt ceiling which is 14.3 trillion dollars before the deadline of March 4.

U.S. federal budget deficit reached 1.29 trillion dollars in the fiscal year 2010 ended September 30. It recorded a historic high of 1.42 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2009 when the economy was hit hard by the financial crisis.

According to President Obama's fiscal year 2012 budget which was sent to Congress on Monday, the U.S. federal deficit in 2011 is expected to hit a new record of 1.65 trillion dollars.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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