U.S. Fed buys $7.0 bln mortgage bonds, sells none

NEW YORK, April 26 Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:28pm EDT

NEW YORK, April 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve bought $7.0 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities from April 19 to 25, down slightly from the $7.7 billion it bought in the prior week, the New York Federal Reserve said on Thursday.

The central bank sold no mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) compared with $700 million the previous week, the New York Fed said on its website.

From the start of October, the Fed began to use the funds from principal payments on the agency debt and agency MBS it holds to reinvest in agency MBS in an effort to hold down mortgage interest rates and support the U.S. housing market.