The Federal Open Market Committee will begin scaling back its mortgage-backed securities purchases in January in a move that may reduce downward pressure on rates somewhat, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

The committee will add to its holdings of agency MBS at a pace of $35 billion per month rather than $40 billion per month, and will add to its holdings of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $40 billion per month rather than $45 billion per month.

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