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By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) – Foreign investors sold U.S. Treasury bonds and notes for a third straight month in January, data from the U.S. Treasury department showed on Friday, a trend that has been in place for several years.

They sold $11.99 billion in Treasuries in January, compared with a record $77.35 billion the previous month, data showed. Selling was mainly from foreign official accounts.

“It could be that foreign investors rotated away from Treasuries in January and bought agencies, for instance, to get a higher yield,” said Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rates strategist at TD Securities in New York.

Foreign inflows into U.S. agency debt totaled $22.99 billion, data showed. The sector has seen foreign inflows for nearly two

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