U.S. Fed buys $12.1 bln of mortgage bonds, sells none

NEW YORK, Sept 5 Thu Sep 5, 2013 3:02pm EDT

NEW YORK, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bought $12.1 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities from Aug 29 through Sept 4, less than the $14.6 billion purchased the previous period, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

In a move to help the housing market, since October 2011 the U.S. central bank has been using funds from principal payments on the agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, it holds to reinvest in agency MBS.

The New York Fed said on its website the Fed sold no mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, in the latest week. It sold none the prior week.

Last Sept. 14, the Fed increased its purchases of MBS to $40 billion a month in its third round of large-scale bond buying in an attempt to support the housing recovery and boost economic growth.

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