WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury securities rose to a record high in April. China, the largest buyer of Treasury debt, increased its holdings slightly after trimming them for two straight months.

The Treasury Department said Friday that total foreign holdings rose 0.4 percent to $5.16 trillion. It was the fourth consecutive monthly increase.

Demand for U.S. debt is rising largely because investors are worried about Europe’s worsening debt crisis. U.S. government debt is considered one of the safest investments

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