NEW YORK The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet shrunk in the latest week, despite a modest increase 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 $3.6026 trillion on August 21, down from $3.6033 trillion on August 14.
The Fed's holdings of Treasuries rose to $2.012 trillion as of Wednesday, up from $2.001 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) rose to $1.303 trillion from $1.300 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, which was unchanged from the previous week.
The Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $22 million a day during the week, compared with $15 million a day the previous week.
(Reporting by Karen Brettell; Editing by Chris Reese)