(Adds details from latest data)
NEW YORK, July 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve's balance sheet grew to a record size in the week ended July 13 as the central bank bought more bonds in an attempt to support a fragile recovery, Fed data released on Thursday showed.
The central bank has to buy Treasuries under a program using the proceeds from maturing agency bonds and mortgage-backed securities.
Its $600 billion scheme, known as QE2, ended on June 30.
The Fed's balance sheet -- a broad gauge of its lending to the financial system -- rose to $2.862 trillion in the week ended July 13 from $2.853 trillion in the week ended July 6. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
For balance sheet graphic: link.reuters.com/buf92k ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Meanwhile, 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 $908.85 billion, unchanged from the previous week.
The Fed's holdings of debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank system totaled $115.1 billion, also unchanged from a week earlier.
Meanwhile, the Fed's overnight direct loans to credit-worthy banks via its discount window averaged $8 million a day in the week ended Wednesday, compared with an average daily rate of $12 million last week. (Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by James Dalgleish)