China: Report buying of US debt might stop is 'fake news'

BEIJING — China's foreign exchange regulator on Thursday challenged a report it might slow or stop purchases of U.S. Treasury debt due to trade tensions with Washington as "fake news."

The State Administration of Foreign Exchange, one of the biggest holders of Treasuries, said it is a "responsible investor" for both the reserves and "participating markets."

Bloomberg, citing unidentified sources, reported Chinese authorities were considering slowing or halting purchases of Treasuries and said they might cite trade tensions as a reason. That prompted a sell-off of U.S. government debt in global markets.

"The news may quote the wrong information source, or it may be fake news," SAFE said on its website.

Beijing keeps a big share of its $3.1 trillion in foreign currency reserves in Treasury debt, which is considered safe and easy to trade. The level rises and falls each month as Chinese currency regulators buy and sell dollars to maintain the exchange of Beijing's tightly controlled yuan.

China owned at least $1.2 trillion of Treasury debt as of October, according to U.S. government data. Beijing is believed to hold additional assets through intermediaries in Switzerland other financial centers.

Must Read

Obama and Putin meet in China amid struggle for Syria deal

Sep 5, 2016

US, Russia struggle to keep alive negotiations to end the bloodshed between U.S.-backed rebels

New wave of anti-China activists set for Hong Kong vote win

Sep 5, 2016

A new wave of anti-China activists appeared headed for victory in Hong Kong's most crucial...

Asian stocks drift as Fed rate outlook eases on service data

Sep 7, 2016

Asian stocks meandered Wednesday after a weak report on U.S. service companies reinforced...

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by scandal

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked...

Taiwan loses diplomatic ally in move welcomed by Beijing

Dec 21, 2016

Taiwan has condemned the African island nation of Sao Tome and Principe's "abrupt" move to break...