(Recast lead, update throughout)
NEW YORK, March 22 Foreign investors raised
their purchases of longer-dated U.S. government debt in early
March, in a sign of renewed appetite for dollar-denominated
assets as the greenback has retreated from its multi-year peaks,
U.S. Treasury data showed on Wednesday.
Overseas investors, a major group of holders of U.S.
government debt, bought $5.725 billion of the $20 billion in
10-year note supply offered on March 8, which was the highest
amount they bought at a 10-year auction since May 2016.
Their March purchases was more than the $5.368 billion they
bought in February, according to the Treasury’s auction
Foreign investors also bought $1.971 billion of the $12
billion of 30-year bonds offered on March 9, which was the most
since last October. The March total was more than double the
$856 million they purchased at February's 30-year bond auction.
Foreigners reduced their holdings of Treasuries for 10
months in a row in January, as overseas central banks shed their
U.S. bonds in an effort to stabilize their currencies against
the dollar and stem capital outflows, Treasury data showed.
The dollar index , which measures the greenback
against the euro, yen and four other currencies, reached its
highest level in about 14 years in early January. Investors had
piled into bullish bets on the dollar in anticipation of tax
cuts, looser regulations and infrastructure spending from U.S.
President Donald Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress.
Since then, the greenback has fallen on the lack of progress
on implementing these promised fiscal measures even as the
Federal Reserve raised interest rates for a second time in three
months last week.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Alistair Bell)