China denies it could halt US bond purchases

BEIJING (AFP) – China denied yesterday a report that it may slow or cease its purchases of US Treasury bonds, calling it a possible case of “fake news” after the dollar tumbled following the story.

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that officials reviewing China’s foreign-exchange holdings had recommended slowing or halting purchases of US Treasuries, citing people familiar with the matter.

“We think this story could be quoting a mistaken source or it could also be a piece of fake news,” the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said in a statement on its website.

Beijing is the biggest holder of US debt and the news was seen by some as a veiled threat to President Donald Trump following his tough talk on global trade and, in particular, what he sees as China’s unfair practices.

“The management of investments in China’s foreign exchange reserves has always been carried out according to the principle of diversification and distribution,” SAFE said in its statement.

“As with other investments, professional management of China’s foreign reserves investment in American bonds is professionally managed according to market activity, on the basis of market conditions and investment needs.”