CORRECTED-OFFICIAL-U.S. Fed buys $16.5 bln of mortgage bonds, sells $1 bln

Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:18pm EDT

(Fed corrects to say $1 billion in MBS sold in latest period, not none)

NEW YORK, Sept 12 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bought $16.5 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities Sept. 5-11, more than the $12.1 billion purchased the previous period, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

In a move to help the housing market begun in 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 $1 billion in mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), in the latest week. It sold none the prior week.

On 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. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Kenneth Barry)