International investors bought $19.2 billion in long-term U.S. securities in July, the lowest inflow in seven months, the Treasury Department said on today.

Demand for notes, bonds, equities, and other long-term securities are at their lowest levels since December. It was also below a downwardly revised net inflow of $97.3 billion reported in June.

he Federal Reserve responded to the adverse numbers by cutting interest rates by half a percentage point to 4.75 percent, a move designed to soothe the turbulent financial markets.

The Federal Reserve has made some responses to the current crisis, said Mark Spiegel, economist at the Federal Reserve Bank in San Francisco. Speaking at a seminar in Seoul at the Bank of Korea, Spiegel sees the U.S economy as still strong.

It is perceived that, in terms of underlying economic conditions, it is still strong. The disruption was in the financial sector, he said.

Including short-term securities such as Treasury bills, foreigners bought a net $103.8 billion in July, enough to cover that month's $59.25 billion trade deficit.