August 28, 2008 / 8:37 PM / 11 years ago

Foreign cenbanks sell agency debt for sixth week

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - Foreign central banks sold $3.96 billion in agency debt this week, according to Federal Reserve data, adding yet more evidence that overseas investors are worried about the troubled mortgage giants.

The drop marked a sixth straight week of declines in offshore central bank holdings of bonds issued by government-sponsored entities (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have recently taken center stage in the U.S. housing crisis.

It brought the total five-week decline to about $17.6 billion.

Overall, overseas institutions’ total holdings of U.S. debt, including Treasury notes and bonds as well as agencies, rose $13.57 billion on the week to $2.409 trillion.

The overall rise came because foreign central banks bought government debt rather than agency debt, adding $17.53 billion to Treasury holdings on the week for a total of $1.441 trillion.

Overseas central banks, particularly those in Asia, have been huge buyers of U.S. debt in recent years, and own over a quarter of marketable Treasuries.

The full Fed report can be found on:


Reporting by Burton Frierson, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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