Fed could taper bond buying when time is right -Lockhart

NEW YORK Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:18pm EST

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NEW YORK Jan 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve could taper its bond buying, and could also selectively reduce purchases of either U.S. Treasury bonds or mortgage-backed securities, when the time finally comes, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Thursday.

The U.S. central bank is currently buying $45 billion worth of Treasuries and an additional $40 billion of MBS per month under its quantitative easing program, dubbed QE3. It is meant to speed up the U.S. economic recovery.