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U.S. Fed buys $5.2 billion of mortgage bonds, sells none

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bought $5.249 billion (3 billion pounds) of agency mortgage-backed securities in the week from Jul. 2 to Jul. 8, compared with $10.012 billion purchased the previous week, the New York Federal Reserve Bank said on Thursday.

In a move to help the housing market begun in October 2011, the U.S. central bank has been using funds from principal payments

on the agency debt and agency mortgage-backed securities, or MBS, it holds to reinvest in agency MBS.

The New York Fed said on its website the Fed sold no mortgage securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB),

Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB) or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae,

in the latest week. It sold none the prior week.