WASHINGTON — China’s holdings of US government bonds fell for the fifth consecutive month in January, showed data released by the US Treasury Department on March 16.
China, the largest foreign holder of the Treasuries, cut its holdings by $5.2 billion to $1.2391 trillion in January. Japan, the second largest holder, raised its holdings of US Treasury bonds by $7.7 billion to $1.2386 trillion. Japan last surpassed China as top holder of the US Treasuries in 2008.
China’s capital account deficit widened sharply in the last quarter of 2014 to $91.2 billion, compared with the third quarter’s $9 billion.
As China gradually moves to make its foreign exchange mechanism more market-oriented, the structure of “trade surplus and capital outflow” will become increasingly normal, China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a report.
The SAFE reiterated the capital outflow remains “moderate and within the limit” and that the liquidity in the foreign exchange market remains “ample.”