NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve bought $3.173 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities in the week from Dec. 22 to Dec. 28, compared with $14.409 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.