U.S. Fed balance sheet shrinks in latest week

NEW YORK Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:30pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrunk in the latest week, despite a modest increase in its holdings of U.S. 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 $3.6026 trillion on August 21, down from $3.6033 trillion on August 14.

The Fed's holdings of Treasuries rose to $2.012 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $2.001 trillion 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 $1.303 trillion from $1.300 trillion a week ago.

The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $65.713 billion, which was unchanged from the previous week.

The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $22 million a day during the week, compared with $15 million a day the previous week.

(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Chris Reese)

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