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Mortgage rates mixed this week after hitting all-time lows

March 12, 2020 - 9:43 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates were mixed this week after hitting all-time lows last week amid anxiety over risks to the economy from the deepening coronavirus crisis.

The average rate on the benchmark 30-year loan rose to 3.36% from 3.29% last week — which was the lowest level since mortgage buyer Freddie Mac started tracking it in 1971.

The average rate on the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage slipped to 2.77% from 2.79% last week.

The decline has been driven by investors shifting money out of the stock market and into the safety of U.S. Treasurys as the crisis in confidence around the global viral outbreak has worsened. Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the yields on the 10-year Treasury note, so they typically fall in tandem.

For the second time this week, U.S. stock prices tumbled so sharply at the opening bell Thursday that a circuit breaker meant to slow panic trading was triggered on Wall Street, halting all activity for 15 minutes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed in a bear market Wednesday for the first time in more than a decade.

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