Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury debt up in October

WASHINGTON — Foreign buyers of U.S. Treasury securities increased their holdings for a third month in October, despite budget battles in Washington that shut down the government for 16 days that month.

The Treasury Department says total foreign holdings edged up 0.01 percent in October to $5.65 trillion after a 1 percent gain in September. Holdings had fallen from April through July, likely reflecting concerns about rising interest rates. In October, holdings were 1.2 percent below the record high of $5.72 trillion reached in March.

China, the largest foreign buyer of Treasury debt, boosted its holdings 0.8 percent in October to $1.3 trillion. Japan, the second-largest buyer, trimmed its holdings 0.3 percent to $1.17 trillion.

An impasse over the budget led to a 16-day partial government shutdown in October.

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