Beijing: China trimmed its US Treasury debt holdings by USD 14.2 billion in October, driving its over trillion dollar holdings to the lowest level this year.

The move came against the backdrop of recent weakness in yuan and on the declining positions of Chinese banks for foreign exchange purchases, an indicator of capital outflows, official media reported on Saturday.

China held a total of USD 1.13 trillion of US Treasury debt as of October 2011, roughly accounting for 24 percent of total foreign holdings of US debt, according to the US Treasury Department.

Despite the latest cut, China remains the largest foreign holder of US treasuries.

Analysts said China should continue to accelerate the diversification of its USD 3.2 trillion foreign-exchange reserves, amid growing global financial uncertainty.

The move to cut the US debt holdings indicated an attempt by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) to increase its cash holdings of dollars in order to shore up the value of the
yuan, Chinese analysts said.

The yuan has been faced with increasing downward pressure as investors sold the currency and sought a safe haven in the dollar amid a grim outlook for the global economy.

"The low level of China's holding of US debt indicates the huge pressure of capital outflow that the country has been faced with," Lu Zhengwei, chief economist with Industrial Bank Co Ltd said.

"The central bank is increasing its holdings of dollars in cash, preparing to sell them in the market if necessary to offset the impact of liquidity outflows," he said.

The yuan traded higher on Friday after touching the low end of its permitted daily trading range for 12 consecutive sessions, the longest run of trading days in which the yuan had weakened.

It was reported that the PBOC plans to create a fund worth USD 300 billion to invest the country's foreign-exchange reserves in the US and European markets.

The fund will reportedly seek to invest in real assets and company shares, rather than government securities.

Gao Xiqing, vice-chairman of China Investment Corp, the country's sovereign wealth fund, said recently that the fund is actively looking for investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in countries including Britain, the US, and Brazil.

(Agencies)