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Foreign Buys of U.S. Securities Declines

Monday May 15, 7:17 pm ET

Treasury Department Data Shows Foreign Purchases of U.S. Securities Totaled $69.8 Billion in March

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Foreign purchases of U.S. securities totaled $69.8 billion in March, according to the latest data from the Treasury Department.

March's net buying was down 23 percent from February's foreign net purchases of U.S. securities at $90.5 billion, previously reported as $86.9 billion, the Treasury said Monday in its monthly international capital report.

Net foreign buying of U.S. securities in February was also below Wall Street expectations. A survey of five banks by Dow Jones Newswires put the net figure at $74.7 billion during the month.

The monthly Treasury report on international capital is considered a rough signal about capital flows. The data are limited by their exclusion of cross-border flows through short-term debt instruments, foreign direct investment and stock swaps.

Net foreign buying of U.S. securities in March was less than the reported U.S. trade deficit for the month of $62.0 billion, though analysts say the Treasury Department's monthly data and the trade deficit make for an imperfect comparison.

Foreign net purchases of U.S. Treasury notes and bonds fell sharply in March, totaling $3.1 billion compared with $21.9 billion the previous month, Treasury said.
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