Saturday, 16 February 2019
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Measures Capital Flow into U.S. Denominated Assets. Summarizes the flow of stocks, bonds and money market funds to and from the United States. The headline figure is the difference in value between American purchases of foreign securities and foreign purchases of American securities, expressed in millions of dollars. The Treasury International Capital or TIC statement is a major component of the American capital account and gives valuable insight into foreign demand for American investments and dollar.
A positive figure indicates that more capital is entering the US than leaving as sales of American securities to foreigners exceed American purchases of foreign securities. Such positive figures suggest that American security markets are competitive with those of other countries. Foreign security purchases are especially important in the case of a trade deficit, as a positive figure can offset the depreciating effect of a trade shortfall. On the contrary, a negative or declining TICS figure reflects a declining capital flow picture. Outflows are indicative of weaker demand for US assets which puts downward pressure on the value of the dollar.
A key feature of the TIC data is its measurement of the types of investors the dollar has; governments and private investors. Usually, a strong government holding of dollar denominated assets signals growing dollar optimism as it shows that governments are confident in the stability of the US dollar. Most importantly seems to be the purchases of Asian central banks such as that of Japan and China. Waning demand by these two behemoth US Treasury holders could be bearish for the US dollar. As for absolute amount of foreign purchases, the market generally likes to see purchases be much stronger than the funding needs of that same month's trade deficit. If it is not, it signals that there is not enough dollars coming in to match dollar going out of the country.