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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bought $17.3 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities from May 9 through May 15, a tad less than the $17.8 billion it purchased last week, 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 $2.2 billion in mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae FNMA.OB, Freddie Mac FMCC.OB or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, in the latest week. It sold $2.7 billion the previous week.
Last September 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 James Dalgleish