Fed balance sheet grows to record again in latest week

NEW YORK Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:31pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's balance sheet hit a new record in the latest week on increased holdings of U.S. government 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 $3.252 trillion on April 17, up from $3.210 trillion on April 10.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.825 trillion as of Wednesday, April 17, versus $1.814 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $2 million a day during the week versus $10 million a day previously.

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) was $1.126 billion versus $1.071 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $72.05 billion, versus $72.05 billion the prior week.

(Reporting by Luciana Lopez; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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