April 23, 2018 / 8:24 PM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Foreigners buy fewer U.S. longer-dated Treasuries at auctions

 (Adds details, background)
    NEW YORK, April 23 (Reuters) - Foreign investors and central
banks purchased fewer U.S. longer-dated Treasuries in early
March, while they bought slightly more shorter-dated government
debt, Treasury Department data released on Monday showed.
    Nearly two weeks ago, the Treasury auctioned $30 billion in
three-year notes; $21 billion in 10-year debt and $13 billion in
30-year bonds.
    Market scrutiny of foreign holdings of Treasuries has
increased in recent weeks as speculation has grown on whether
China and other nations may consider reducing their U.S. debt
holdings as a way to retaliate against tariffs and other trade
restrictions imposed by the Trump administration.             
    Overseas investors, a major group of holders of U.S.
government debt, bought $2.686 billion of the latest 10-year
supply earlier this month, down from $4.872 billion they
purchased in March, according to the Treasury’s auction
allotment data.
    This was the lowest amount of 10-year notes they bought at
an auction since October.
    They bought $1.667 billion of 30-year bonds about two weeks
ago, the lowest amount since January. This compared with $2.481
billion in March.
    Foreign private and government investors bought $4.325
billion of the 3-year Treasury issue offered earlier this month.
This was higher than the $4.193 billion they purchased the
previous month.    

 (Reporting by Richard Leong; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
  
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