Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrinks in latest week

NEW YORK Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:32pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrank in the latest week with reduced holdings of 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 $3.185 trillion on March 27, compared with a record-large $3.189 trillion on March 20.

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 $1.071 trillion on Wednesday, compared with $1.086 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.794 trillion as of Wednesday versus $1.785 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system was $72.42 billion, which was unchanged from the previous week. The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $8 million a day from an average of $6 million per day the prior week.

(Reporting by Chris Reese; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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