Global ‘Wall of Worry’ Feeds Rush for Treasuries as Risks Mount

All roads are leading to the U.S. Treasury market as a dizzying array of global geopolitical and economic forces bolster the world’s penchant to buy America’s debt during troubled times.

Before U.S. traders could even grab a morning coffee on Wednesday, yields were tumbling across sovereign markets. Haven demand kicked in after Chinese growth figures disappointed, and intensified as tensions between Italy and the European Union rippled through euro-area assets. Then a fresh batch of subpar U.S. economic data hit, and the drop in yields took on a life of its own amid signs of mortgage-related hedging. Read More @


China Cuts U.S. Treasury Holdings to Lowest Level Since 2017

China cut its U.S. Treasuries holdings to the lowest level since 2017 in March amid the trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies. It was only a slight reduction — the stake slipped by $10.4 billion, the first drop since November — but that was enough to bring the position down to a two-year low of $1.12 trillion, according to data the U.S. Treasury Department released Wednesday.

China owns more U.S. government debt than any other foreign nation, and slashing those holdings is viewed by some as a nuclear option — albeit an unlikely one — in the worsening trade negotiations. Bond markets were jolted last year when China officials recommended slowing or halting purchases.

The data preceded the recent deepening of the trade war between the U.S. and China that’s rattled financial markets and cast a shadow over the global economy. Both sides slapped new tariffs on the other this month. The escalating conflict has stoked speculation that China could turn to other tools as leverage, such as selling U.S. assets, though that option is often dismissed as improbable. Read More @

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