WASHINGTON (AP) -- Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record level in January, providing evidence that international investors remain confident in U.S. debt despite on-going budget battles in Washington.

The Treasury Department said Friday that foreign holdings of U.S. Treasury securities rose in January for a 13th straight month to a record $5.62 trillion, up 0.8 percent from December. China, the top foreign holder, increased its holdings 3.6 percent to $1.26 trillion. Japan, the second-largest holder, boosted its investment 0.4 percent to $1.12 trillion.

Demand kept rising as Congress and President Barack Obama kept wrangling over various budget issues. Congress did agree to temporarily lift the government's borrowing limit but no deal was reached on a plan to avert automatic spending cuts from going into effect on March 1.


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