China FX regulator weighs in on United States bond-buying story

MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Futures Slide 135 Points As Traders Keep A Wary Eye On Bonds

China added to jitters on Wednesday as Bloomberg News reported that government officials are discussing whether to slow or halt USA bond purchases as part of a review of its foreign-exchange holdings.

"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 said in a statement on its website.

China owned at least $1.2 trillion of Treasury debt as of October, according to USA government data.

The market for US government bonds is becoming less attractive relative to other assets, and trade tensions with the USA may provide a reason to adjust the pace of purchases, the thinking of these Chinese officials goes, according to people familiar with the matter cited by Bloomberg. Furthermore, others argue that for China's own financial stability, they need to hold a lot of U.S. Treasuries - still perceiving the U.S.as the most trusted safe haven in the first world (strong private property rights, market depth liquidity and transparency relative to other sovereign debt).

MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Futures Slide 135 Points As Traders Keep A Wary Eye On Bonds
China says no plan to reduce US Treasury purchases

"Officials may have leaked the information as a warning to the Trump administration that Beijing could retaliate" against trade pressure, according to speculation by "some fixed-income strategists", as reported by the FT.

"The management of investments in China's foreign exchange reserves have always been carried out according to the principle of diversification and distribution", SAFE said in its statement.

"Diversifying the forex reserves means that holding less U.S. Treasuries is inevitable", the person said to Market News.

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