NEW YORK The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew in the latest week with reduced holdings of U.S. government debt, agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.
The Fed's balance sheet - a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system - stood at $2.899 trillion on January 2, compared with $2.889 trillion on December 26.
The Fed's holdings of Treasuries totaled $1.666 trillion as of Wednesday from $1.657 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) totaled $926.69 billion compared with $926.56 billion the previous week.
The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system held steady at $76.78 billion.
The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $28 million a day during the week compared with a $17 million a day average rate the prior week.
(Reporting By Steven C. Johnson; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)