Foreign central banks' U.S. debt holdings rise-Fed

NEW YORK, Sept 17 Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:30pm EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Foreign central banks' holdings of U.S. Treasuries at the Federal Reserve rose in the latest week while agency debt holdings slipped, data from the U.S. central bank showed on Thursday.

The combined holdings of Treasuries and agency securities by foreign central banks at the Fed rose by $26.35 billion to total $2.852 trillion in the week ended Sept. 16.

Treasuries held by overseas central banks at the Fed rose by $31.43 billion to total $2.081 trillion.

Foreign central banks' holdings of securities issued or guaranteed by the two biggest U.S. mortgage financing agencies, Fannie Mae FNM.P and Freddie Mac FRE.P, fell by $5.073 billion to $771.83 billion in the latest week.

Overseas central banks, particularly in Asia, have been huge buyers of U.S. debt in recent years and own more than a quarter of marketable Treasuries. China recently overtook Japan as the biggest such buyer.

The full Fed report can be found on: here (Reporting by Ellen Freilich; Editing by James Dalgleish)