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11 January 2018, 09:29 | Jan Cross
Investors spooked by report China could curtail US government bond purchases
Balancing a retirement and college savings can be overwhelming.
Officials reviewing China's foreign-exchange holdings have recommended slowing or halting purchases of US government bonds, Bloomberg News reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
China wouldn't let geopolitical issues drive decisions on foreign exchange holdings, the Eurasia Group said, after Bloomberg News reported officials had recommended scaling back US government debt purchases.
"You could be long dollar-yen and you could be long US treasuries and you were getting yield on both sides of that". The Fed is also expected to raise rates three times this year.
"If the reports turn out to be true and China no longer sees Treasuries as an attractive option, the repercussions could be significant as the country is one of the biggest holders of US debt", Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA in London, said in a note. Japan was second with USA bond holdings worth $1.09 trillion. And that fewer buyers will result in higher interest rates and borrowing costs in the U.S.
Officials at China's State Administration of Foreign Exchange also recognized that injecting politics into Treasury purchases could backfire, causing a price decline that could damage the value of the country's own holdings, the analysts said.
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But Erlam says it is too "early to speculate" on the likelihood that China will "suddenly" reduce its holdings.
The financial market reaction to the Bloomberg report was swift. Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose for a fifth day, touching the highest since March. It finished unchanged at 2.55%.
And, as I recently wrote, that could annihilate the decades-long bond-market bubble - and it won't be good for stocks either. The strategies discussed in the review don't concern daily purchases and sales, said the people. "And when you get another story like China, a major holder of U.S. Treasuries possibly stepping back from the market, it adds to the overall bearish trend in the Treasury market".
USA equities declined.
A possible slow-down or halt to China purchasing US Treasury yields could have significant repercussions.
"I think the Chinese will contribute to the removal of liquidity from the USA bond market", said Michael Shaoul, chairman and CEO of Marketfield Asset Management.
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