U.S. Fed balance sheet grows 8 straight weeks

NEW YORK, July 25 Thu Jul 25, 2013 4:29pm EDT

NEW YORK, July 25 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew for the eighth week in the latest week as the U.S. central bank increased its holdings of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed's balance sheet liabilities, which are a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.532 trillion on July 24, compared with $3.495 trillion on July 17.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries rose to $1.970 trillion as of Wednesday, from $1.962 trillion the previous week.

The Fed's ownership of mortgage bonds guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) increased to $1.261 trillion from $1.235 trillion from the previous week.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $66.52 billion, unchanged from $66.52 billion from 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, compared with $13 million a day the previous week.