Fed balance sheet grows in latest week

NEW YORK Thu May 16, 2013 4:37pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew in the latest week as the central bank's holdings of U.S. Treasuries increased, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

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) also rose in the latest week.

The Fed's balance sheet, which is a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.312 trillion on May 15, compared to $3.281 trillion on May 8.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries grew to $1.865 trillion as of Wednesday, May 15, from $1.854 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $6 million a day during the week versus $9 million a day the previous week.

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) rose to $1.150 trillion from $1.122 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 from the previous week.

(Reporting by Ellen Freilich; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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