03/16/2012 09:10 EDT | Updated 05/16/2012 05:12 EDT

Foreigners sold Cdn securities in January while Canadians invested abroad

OTTAWA - Statistics Canada says foreign investors reduced their holdings of Canadian securities by $4.2 billion in January after buying a cumulative $55.1 billion in the previous six months.

Meanwhile, Canadian investors added $1.3 billion to their holdings of foreign securities, purchasing equities while selling debt instruments.

It was the ninth straight month that Canadian investors increased their foreign holdings.

Foreign investors removed $4.6 billion from their holdings of Canadian short-term instruments, primarily federal treasury bills, in January after accumulating $26 billion worth in the second half of 2011.

This was partly offset by foreign investment of $1.1 billion in provincial government and corporate paper.

Foreigners reduced their holdings of Canadian stocks by $1.4 billion in January, as Canadian equity prices gained 4.2 per cent in the month.

Canadians added a further $3.4 billion of foreign stocks to their holdings in January.

They also reduced their holdings of foreign debt instruments, mainly U.S. government bonds and treasury bills, by $2.1 billion in January.