Freddie Mac said it has canceled its sale of reference note securities set for this week.

The move, announced Monday, follows Fannie Mae's decision not to go through with a similar sale of its debt securities last month.

Investors over the past month have demanded a hefty premium for buying the debt issued by the two government-sponsored mortgage finance companies, which were placed under conservatorship on Sept. 7.

"In this uncertain climate, Freddie probably is not in a rush to sell at Libor-plus valuations," said Mark Noble, the head of the agency desk at MF Global.

On Oct. 9, Freddie sold $4 billion of its two-year bonds at a yield of 2.943%, or 125 basis points over the comparable Treasury yield, the highest premium the agency has paid.

Since then, risk premiums on those two-year notes have widened even more, to 143 basis points over the yield on comparative Treasuries.

Freddie's decision to cancel its bond sale was not a surprise, Mr. Noble said. He suggested that Fannie and Freddie may be adapting a strategy of limiting supply in order to push demand higher and tighten risk premiums.

Freddie declined to say why it canceled its auction.

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