China : Country denies report it could halt U.S. bond purchases

Bill Gross declares bond bear market as 10-year Treasury yield tops 2.55%

A report from Bloomberg suggesting that China may be looking to slow or halt purchases of United States government bonds rippled across the markets.

SAFE officials noted that "the handling of China's foreign reserves investment in USA bonds is professionally managed according to market activity, on the basis of market conditions and investment needs".

"It is very unlikely that China would slow its purchases of U.S. Treasuries to warn the Trump administration against aggressive trade measures", said Michael Hirson, a director at political risk consultant Eurasia Group.

The yield for the 10-year benchmark note slipped 2 basis points to 2.531%, snapping five-straight sessions of yield gains, according to Tradeweb.

China's foreign exchange reserves - the world's largest - rose to US$3.14tn in December.

The yen has risen this week after the Bank of Japan on Tuesday trimmed its buying of long-dated Japanese government bonds in market operations.

The regulator added that forex reserves management agencies are responsible investors in global financial markets.

A Bloomberg News report claimed Wednesday that officials in China had recommended to the Peoples Bank of China and other state authorities that they slow down the pace at which they buy US Treasury bonds, or halt buying them altogether.

"We go into the year on the proviso that the while the dollar may have become a little oversold and due a moderate correction, we favour the dollar structural depreciation to extend", Jeremy Stretch, currency strategist at London-based CIBC Capital Markets, told the Reuters Global Markets Forum.

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In a statement posted on its website, SAFE said the report's sources might be wrong or that the story could be "fake news".

China had $1.19 trillion in Treasuries as of October 2017, data from the Treasury Department show.

China's vast stock of USA debt is a byproduct of the huge amount of goods it sells to Americans.

The report sent 10-year US Treasury yields to a 10-month high of 2.59 per cent and the dollar index lower to 92.3 on Wednesday night.

Such measures - already used by Beijing against countries like South Korea - could include informal regulatory actions that deny market access to US firms and goods, they said. "That's not helpful to a bond market that's already under pressure".

"The dollar may fall to around ¥110" in the days to come, the official said.

President Donald Trump's administration is reportedly planning new tariffs, aimed at countering China's allegedly unfair trade practices.

Gold miners were boosted by a stronger price for the precious metal, with Newcrest Mining up 0.9 per cent at $22.86 and Evolution Mining up 2.8 per cent at $2.56.

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