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UPDATE 1-Fed starts bond purchases under ramped up liquidity program

(Adds more details about the purchases)

March 13 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve on Friday launched a wave of $37 billion of Treasury security purchases under the enhanced market liquidity measures it announced on Thursday to address volatile conditions in the government bond market caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the market agent for the Fed system, said purchases began at 1030 EDT (1430 GMT) and would continue into the afternoon as it targeted five different maturity sectors.

The purchases account for roughly half of $80 billion in planned monthly purchases that the Fed revised this week to include a wider range of maturities. That was a notable shift from the central bank's previous approach, which focused on short-term Treasury bills and was described as a "technical" program aimed at boosting the level of reserves in the banking system.

The accelerated purchases are "intended to address highly unusual disruptions in the market for Treasury securities associated with the coronavirus outbreak," the New York Fed said Friday.

The markets desk will adjust future purchases "as needed to foster smooth Treasury market functioning" and plans to post a revised schedule, the bank said. (Reporting By Dan Burns and Jonnelle Marte. Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft)

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