U.S. Fed buys $17.1 bln of mortgage bonds, sells none

NEW YORK, March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 2:24pm EDT

NEW YORK, March 28 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve bought $17.10 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities from March 21 through March 27, down slightly from $17.75 billion in the prior week, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

The U.S. central bank sold no mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Government National Mortgage Association, known as Ginnie Mae, in the latest week. It sold $750 million the previous week, the New York Fed said on its website.

Last Sept. 14, the Fed began a $40 billion monthly increase in MBS purchases, its third round of large-scale bond buying, known as QE3, in an attempt to support the housing recovery and boost economic growth.

Since October 2011, the Fed has been using funds from principal payments on the agency debt and agency MBS it holds to reinvest in agency MBS, a move to help the housing market.

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