Fed slows $1.45T program to aid housing market

WASHINGTON (AP) - With the economy on the mend, the Federal Reserve on Wednesday said it is slowing the pace of a program to lower mortgage rates and prop up the housing market.

The Fed decided to stretch out its goal of buying $1.45 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and debt issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae until the end of the first quarter of 2010.

To foster the recovery, the Fed also decided to hold the target range for its key bank lending rate at a record low of between zero and 0.25 percent.

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