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China Is Dumping US Stocks


China’s fire sale of US Treasuries is spilling over into stocks. The country’s holdings of American stocks sank 38%, or $126B, from the end of July through March, leaving China with $201B. 

Overall foreign ownership of US stocks fell 9% over that time.

The People’s Bank Of China, which owns the world’s biggest foreign exchange reserves, has shed about 20% of its holdings since 2014, including $250B of US government debt. 

Now the Treasury selling has slowed—China's US Treasuries dropped just 2% from July to March—and it seems to have been replaced by stock sales, Bloomberg reports.

The liquidation of equities follows the lead of sovereign funds from Qatar to the UAE and Russia—all of which have been liquidating assets since the beginning of crude’s nose-dive in 2014.

“The Chinese, or other people for that matter, are taking the view that sitting in US equities is presumably quite risky, and I’m not surprised they’re shifting," HSBC global head of asset allocation Fredrik Nerbrand tells Bloomberg. “This seems like more of a generation of cash more than anything else, and probably a de-risking of their portfolio.” [Bloomberg]