China buying more European bonds

100 euro and 100 dollar bills


Steve Chiotakis: The U.S. Treasury Department releases new figures today that will shed more light on how much American debt China holds. They already possess the biggest horde of foreign currency assets in the world -- most of them in U.S. dollars. But there are signs China that China could be scrapping the dollar and it has its eyes now on the euro.

From London, here's Marketplace's Stephen Beard.

Stephen Beard: Beijing is secretive about the details of its reserves. But a picture is emerging. A former official at the Chinese central bank is quoted saying: "We have been buying quite a lot of European bonds."

Meanwhile, Beijing has been selling some of its U.S. government debt -- more than $70 billion worth over the past year.

Steve Barrow is with the Standard Bank in London. He says the world's largest overseas holder of U.S. government securities clearly has some doubts about the dollar.

STEVE BARROW: There has been, and will be, some shift away from the U.S. and maybe into European bond markets or perhaps into other bond markets. That, perhaps, is part of a diversification program.

But he claims there is no chance of a Chinese stampede out of the greenback. He says China has no choice but to hold the bulk of its ever-growing reserves in the dollar because it's the world's largest, most liquid currency.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.


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