Data released by the U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) on Thursday showed that the central bank lowered its holdings of U.S. Treasuries.
For the week ending Aug. 7, the average daily figure of Fed holdings of U.S. Treasury securities dropped 11,509 million U.S. dollars to 2,080,703 million dollars.
The majority of U.S. Treasury securities that the Fed holds were longer term securities issued by the U.S. government, such as Treasury notes and Treasury bonds, which totaled 1,940,396 million dollars, according to the Fed.
The Fed purchased government-issued securities and other securities like mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the market in order to boost the money supply and encourage lending and investment after the 2008 financial crisis.
The unconventional monetary policy, commonly known as quantitative easing, left the central bank with a massive holdings of securities.
Meanwhile, the data also showed that the central bank maintained its holdings of the MBS, whose average daily figure remained at 1,511,775 million dollars for the week ending Aug. 7.
The Fed's effort to lower the holdings of U.S. Treasuries and MBS aimed at shrinking its holdings to pre-crisis level.
The Fed stated in March that it intended to conclude the reduction of its aggregate securities holdings at the end of September. The process, known as balance sheet normalization, started in October 2017.
After a two-day policy meeting earlier this month, the central bank reaffirmed that it will stop shrinking its bond portfolio in September, a step that would help hold down long-term interest rates.