There was a particularly weak 30 year Treasury auction today, which helped send interest rates higher. Notably the indirect bid, which is typically taken as an indication of foreign interest in a treasury auction, was only 12.2%. This number is normally in the 30%+ range. While individual treasury auctions are generally pretty noisy, treasury bears seized the opportunity to opine on the possibility of foreign boycott.
For context, below is a chart showing the percentage of publicly traded US Treasury debt held by foreign investors. There has been a steady, slow downtrend since 4Q08, but compared to the increase over the last 4 decades, the decrease is just a blip. Treasury issuance has exploded since 4Q08, so foreigners are still purchasing debt in huge amounts–just at a smaller share of the new issuance than they were.
|Source: US Department of Treasury|