Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury debt hit record

In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, file photo, the U.S Treasury Building stands in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File) Show caption
In this Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, file photo, the U.S Treasury Building stands in Washington. (AP Photo/J. David Ake, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings to a record in December even though the two largest holders of U.S. government debt — China and Japan — reduced their shares.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings rose 1.4 percent in December to $5.79 trillion, surpassing the old record set in March of $5.73 trillion. Foreign holdings had fallen from April through July before rising again in August.

China, the largest foreign buyer of Treasury debt, reduced its holdings to $1.27 trillion in December. That marked a 3.6 percent drop from China’s November level of $1.32 trillion, a record for that country.

Japan, the second-largest buyer, trimmed its holdings to $1.18 trillion in December. That was down 0.3 percent from November’s total, a record for Japan.