Foreign holdings of US debt hit record $5.48T

December 17, 2012 - 10:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in October, a sign that overseas investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite a potential budget crisis.

Total foreign holdings reached $5.48 trillion in October, the Treasury Department said Monday. That's up 0.1 percent from September.

China, the largest holder of U.S. government debt, increased its holdings slightly to $1.16 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its holdings by a smaller amount to $1.13 trillion. Brazil, the country with the third-largest holdings, increased its total to $255.2 billion.

The new figures show that investors are still seeking the perceived safety of U.S. Treasurys, even as lawmakers and President Barack Obama remain at odds over whether to raise the U.S. borrowing limit as part of a broader budget deal.