NEW YORK The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew for a second straight week on a rise in its holdings of U.S. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, Fed data released on Thursday showed.
The Fed's balance sheet liabilities, which are a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system, stood at $3.603 trillion on August 14, up from $3.542 trillion on August 7.
The Fed's holdings of Treasuries rose to $2.001 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $1.993 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) jumped to $1.3 trillion from $1.247 trillion a week ago.
The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $65.713 billion from $66.521 billion the previous week.
The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $15 million a day during the week, compared with $7 million a day the previous week.
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Chris Reese)