A majority of U.S. senators on Thursday voted to confirm Ben Bernanke for a second four-year term at the head of the Federal Reserve, suggesting he would win the Senate's needed approval.

Voting was still ongoing and some lawmakers could change their votes before the final gavel drops.

Bernanke, who has been credited with steering the U.S. economy through a wrenching financial crisis but who is also under fire for policies that set the stage for the turmoil, encountered the stiffest opposition the Senate has put up in the three decades it has voted on nominees to head the U.S. central bank.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal)