U.S. Fed balance sheet shrinks in the latest week

NEW YORK Thu Feb 28, 2013 4:29pm EST

NEW YORK Feb 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrank in the latest week with reduced holdings of federal agency debt and 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 $3.072 trillion on Feb. 27, compared with a record large $3.077 trillion on Feb. 20.

The Fed's ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) totaled $1.016 trillion compared with $1.033 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system was $73.59 billion, down from $74.61 billion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.750 trillion as of Wednesday versus $1.736 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $3 million a day compared with an average of $8 million per day the prior week.