Central banks sold a record amount of US Treasury debt last week and bond funds suffered the biggest investor withdrawals on record as global markets shuddered at the prospect of the US Federal Reserve ending its quantitiative easing program.
Holdings of US Treasuries held at the Fed on behalf of official foreign institutions, dropped a record $32.4 billion to $2.93 trillion, eclipsing the prior mark of $24 billion in August 2007. It was the third weekly outflow in the past four weeks and came as Japanese investors, who are big holders of US Treasury debt, sold a net $12 billion of foreign bonds last week, their biggest sale in 14 months.
Bond funds tracked by EPFR Global, a data provider, saw total redemptions of $23.3 billion in the week to June 26. US funds were the worst hit, with withdrawals totaling $10.6 billion, but emerging market debt funds also saw record redemptions of $5.6 billion.