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Foreigners demand for U.S. assets higher in July

Foreigners demand for U.S. assets higher in July (by Greg Robb)

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Foreign demand for U.S. assets increased a bit in July after a surprising drop in June, government data released Friday showed. Foreign investors bought a net $9.5 billion of long-term U.S. assets in July, up from $3.4 billion in the prior month, the Treasury Department said. Private foreign investors bought a net $10.4 billion of U.S. securities, compared with net sales of $23.3 billion in June. International demand for long-term Treasurys returned in July after foreigners sold these securities in June for the first time since May 2009. Analysts blamed the decline on the debt ceiling debate and fear of high interest rates as the Fed ended its second bond purchase program. Foreigners bought a net $16.2 billion of long-term Treasurys in July after net sales of $4.6 billion in the prior month. According to the data, Mainland China increased its Treasury holdings in July for the fourth straight month. Japan and the United Kingdom also increased its holdings.