WASHINGTON — Foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rebounded in June following two straight months of declines.
The Treasury Department says in its monthly report that total holdings rose to $6.175 trillion, an increase of 0.7 percent over the May level.
Foreign holdings of Treasury debt had fallen 0.1 percent in May after a 0.6 percent drop in April. The June increase still left total holdings $700 million below the all-time high set in March.
China, the largest foreign owner of Treasury debt, boosted its holdings 0.1 percent in June to $1.27 trillion. But Japan, the second largest holder of U.S. Treasury debt, trimmed its holdings 1.5 percent to $1.20 trillion.
The demand for U.S. Treasury securities, considered one of the world's safest investments, is expected to remain strong this year.
Since March, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has been employing emergency procedures to keep the government's total borrowing beneath the current debt ceiling set of $18.1 trillion. Lew has said that he will likely exhaust these measures by late October.
Private economists have warned that the country could see a repeat of the brinksmanship that prompted Standard & Poor's in August 2011 to downgrade the nation's credit rating for the first time in history. But Republican leaders have said they do not intend to use legislation to boost the borrowing limit as leverage to force the Obama administration to accept their demands in other areas.