The U.S. Federal Reserve is leaving the door open for restarting its program to support the mortgage market, if the economy weakens or interest rates increase sharply, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said. As things stand, the central bank's purchases of mortgage-backed securities are scheduled to end March 31. "Obviously, if mortgage rates were to back up a lot and if that had a big consequence for the economy, then we very well could rethink the issue about whether we wanted to buy more mortgages," Dudley said.

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