Fed’s Gross Weekly MBS Purchases Spike

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said late Thursday it had purchased another $74.7 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities this week from government-sponsored entities Freddie Mac (FRE), Fannie Mae (FNM) and Ginnie Mae. For the week ending April 8, the Fed purchased, net of $44.28 billion in coupon sales, $30.4 billion in agency MBS, slowed from last week’s almost $33 billion in net purchases. The Fed bought $21.2 billion from Freddie’s books, $52.65 billion from Fannie and $850 million off Ginnie’s books this week. Thirty-year 4.5 percent coupons were the most popular item purchased at $21.6 billion from all agencies. Meanwhile, the Fed also sold $15.4 billion of 30-year 5.5 percent coupons. Thirty-year 5s came in second in terms of sales, at $13 billion. For the second week, the Fed listed “settlement month” data for both purchases and sales, indicating when its balance sheet will be affected by the final settlement of the transactions. See a detailed table of the current week’s purchases and sales. The Fed’s assets rose by almost $21 billion the same week ending April 8 after last week’s slip, according to a balance sheet summary released Thursday. The data show the Fed’s consolidated balance sheet rose to a value of $2.07 trillion for the week, from $2.049 trillion the week before, and is up $1.2 trillion from the year-ago week ended April 9, 2008. Write to Diana Golobay at Disclosure: The author held no relevant investment positions when this story was published. Indirect holdings may exist via mutual fund investments. HW reporters and writers follow a strict disclosure policy, the first in the mortgage trade.

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