The growth in international purchases of U.S. financial assets slowed in April as China, Japan and Russia pared their demand, the Treasury Department said.

The slowdown, which the Treasury reported Monday, underscores the danger of U.S. reliance on foreigners to finance its fiscal deficit.

Total net purchases of long-term equities, notes and bonds rose $11.2 billion, compared with $55.4 billion in March, the Treasury said. International holdings of Treasuries grew by a net total of $41.9 billion, compared with the $55.3 billion gain in March. Including bills, the holdings fell by a net total of $2.6 billion.

Including short-term securities such as stock swaps, foreigners sold $53.2 billion of U.S. financial assets, compared with net buying of $25 billion the previous month.

The median of nine estimates by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had projected $60 billion of international net purchases of long-term U.S. assets.

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