March 29, 2012 / 8:41 PM / 5 years ago

Fed balance sheet shrinks in latest week

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies about monetary policy before the House Financial Services on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 29, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal Reserve’s balance sheet contracted slightly in the latest week, Fed data released on Thursday showed.

The Fed’s balance sheet - a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system - stood at $2.861 trillion on March 28, down from $2.8756 trillion on March 21.

The Fed’s holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.665 trillion as of Wednesday, March 28, versus $1.663 trillion the previous week.

The Fed’s overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $4 million a day during the week versus $12 million a day previously.

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Federal Reserve balance sheet: link.reuters.com/cub62s

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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) was $836.8 billion versus $851.3 billion the previous week.

The Fed’s holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $96.5 billion, versus $98.99 billion the prior week.

Reporting By Emily Flitter; Editing by Padraic Cassidy

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