Foreign central banks' US debt holdings fall - Fed

NEW YORK Thu Aug 1, 2013 4:29pm EDT

NEW YORK Aug 1 (Reuters) - Foreign central banks' overall holdings of U.S. marketable securities at the Federal Reserve fell in the latest week, data from the U.S. central bank showed on Thursday.

The Fed said its holdings of U.S. securities kept for overseas central banks fell $5.5 billion in the week ended July 31, to stand at $3.3 trillion.

The breakdown of custody holdings showed overseas central banks' holdings of Treasury debt fell by $1.6 billion to stand at $2.9 trillion.

Foreign institutions' holdings of securities issued or guaranteed by the biggest U.S. mortgage financing agencies, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, fell by $4.1 billion to stand at $308 billion.

The Fed said its holdings of so-called "other" securities held in custody and reported at face value rose by $226 million to stand at $37.2 billion. These securities include non-marketable U.S. Treasury securities, supranationals, corporate bonds, asset-backed securities and commercial paper.

Overseas central banks, particularly those in Asia, have been huge buyers of U.S. debt in recent years and own more than a quarter of marketable Treasuries. China and Japan are the biggest foreign holders of Treasuries.

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