Fed's balance sheet grows in latest week

NEW YORK Thu Jan 10, 2013 4:31pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's balance sheet rose in the latest week with increased holdings of U.S. government debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed's balance sheet - a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system - stood at $2.911 trillion on January 9, compared with $2.899 trillion on January 2.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.676 trillion as of Wednesday from $1.666 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB), Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) totaled $926.71 billion compared with $926.69 billion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system was $76.36 billion from $76.78 billion the prior week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $7 million a day during the week compared with a $28 million a day average rate the prior week.

(Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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