The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said late Thursday it had purchased another $68.5 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 1, the Fed purchased, net of $35.6 billion in coupon sales, $32.91 billion in agency MBS, virtually unchanged from last week's $33.2 billion in net purchases. The Fed bought $15.4 billion from Freddie’s books, $51.5 billion from Fannie and $1.6 billion off Ginnie’s books this week. Thirty-year 5.5 percent coupons were the most popular item purchased at $25.6 billion from all agencies, followed by 30-year 4s at $21.6 billion. Meanwhile, the Fed also sold $24.8 billion of 30-year 5.5 percent coupons. Thirty-year 6s came in second in terms of sales, at $6.2 billion, while $3.5 billion in 30-year 4s and $1 billion in 30-year 5s were sold as well. For the first 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 slipped $2.3 billion the same week ending April 1 after steadily increasing in recent weeks, according to a balance sheet summary released Thursday. The data show the Fed’s consolidated balance sheet shrank slightly to a value of $2.049 trillion for the week, but is still up $1.173 trillion from the year-ago week ended April 2, 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.