U.S. Fed balance sheet shrinks in latest week

NEW YORK Thu May 2, 2013 4:29pm EDT

NEW YORK May 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet declined in the latest week on reduced holdings of U.S. 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 $3.274 trillion on May 1, down from $3.276 trillion on April 24.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries rose to $1.848 trillion as of Wednesday, May 1, versus $1.836 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $10 million a day during the week versus $17 million a day the previous week.

The Fed's ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) fell to $1.122 trillion from $1.136 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, unchanged on the previous week.

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