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Tag Archives: Euro

Mortgage Rates Reach New All-Time Lows. Again

Interest rates for mortgage loans plunged to new lows Thursday, as debt crises in Europe continued to weigh heavily on investors. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac released separate surveys signaling all-time lows for mortgage rates. For Freddie, the 30-year fixed-rate loan fell to 3.88 percent, down from 3.89 percent last week. Bankrate.com revealed rates for the 30-year mortgage staying the same at 4.18 percent. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage went up a percentage point for Freddie, reaching 3.17 percent, up from 3.16 percent last week.

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Mortgage Application Volume Jumps 23.1%: MBA

application

Mortgage application volume shot up 23.1 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, largely on a refinancing surge that eclipsed averages year-over-year as investors frittered about Europe. The Mortgage Bankers Association reported the figures in its latest Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey. The trade group├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós Market Composite Index, a measure of application volume, climbed 38.1 percent on a seasonally unadjusted basis from the week before. The Refinance Index accordingly reflected a 26.4-percent increase from the week before to the highest level seen since August last year.

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Fixed-Rate Mortgage Drops to Record 3.69%: Zillow

Mortgage rates slumped to record lows Tuesday. Again. Real estate Web site Zillow released the weekly Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, which it develops by pooling quotes for mortgage rates from online users. The Web site reported the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hitting 3.69 percent this week ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô rock bottom, and a new low for the third straight week. Interest rates for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage hovered around 3.03 percent, all while the figures for 5-year and 1-year adjustable-rate mortgages averaged 2.63 percent.

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Bank Shares Slide on S&P’s Eurozone Downgrades

Stocks and shares for the nation├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós four largest banks slid back Friday on news that ratings agency Standard & Poor's slashed credit ratings for several debt-saddled euro zone countries, including France, Italy, and Spain. A 0.4-percent dip led the Dow Jones Industrial Average to end the day at 12,422 points, a 48.96 loss from the day before. The S&P 500 went south in a 0.5-percent tizzy, losing 6.41 points to close at 1,298. S&P ignited an investor selloff in the markets earlier Friday by announcing credit changes for 16 European countries. S&P slashed U.S. sovereign credit last fall.

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Economy Will Improve With Home Sales, Starts: ABA

Eleven chief economists forecasted Friday that the U.S. economy will continue to improve modestly as job growth steadies, along with easing declines in home prices, sales, and starts. The 11 economists all from banks and members of the American Bankers Association's economic advisory committee said that GDP growth rose to 2.5 percent in 2011. The committee also said home sales and starts could catch an upward draft seen in 2011 that lasts this year, with home prices likely continuing to stagger.

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FOMC’s November Minutes Reflect Euro Crisis Concerns

Fed

With the euro zone crisis deepening, members of the Federal Open Market Committee elected to stay the course in November by keeping interest rates historically low and pooling investments from agency debt into agency mortgage-backed securities. Minutes framed discussions around concerns about weakening confidence in the markets as a result of any potential default by euro zone nations, even while the U.S. economy signaled that it would continue climbing out of the financial crisis. Europe helped rattle markets and compel the Fed's action in 2011.

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Mortgage Rates Slam Into New Holiday Lows

Interest rates for mortgage loans slammed into new lows just before a holiday break, with investors hewing close to the safety of U.S. Treasury debt. Finance Web site Bankrate.com and mortgage company Freddie Mac released their findings in separate weekly surveys. Freddie Mac found the 30-year loan falling to 3.91 percent this week, the lowest this year, as it rocketed past a previous rock-bottom rate of 3.94 percent. Bankrate.com meanwhile found the 30-year fixed-mortgage reaching a second all-time low for the week, as rates for the loan ticked up from 4.19 percent to crest at 4.20 percent.

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Reports: Morgan Stanley to Eliminate 1,600 Jobs

Amid declining share and revenue across the industry, financial services firm Morgan Stanley announced that it will eliminate about 1,600 jobs, or about 2.6 percent of all employees, multiple news outlets said Friday. The move arrives for the financial services firm amid continued problems for the investment trading industry and debt crises for euro zone countries. Earlier this year Bank of America, Citigroup, and MetLife all followed the same route by announcing job-slashing measures.

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FOMC Keeps Interest Rates at 0%

Acknowledging improvements in the larger economy, the Federal Open Market Committee said Tuesday that it would keep a heel on zero interest rates and continue shepherding funds from mortgage-backed securities into agency mortgage-backed securities. The rate for federal funds remains between zero interest and .25 percent since December, and follows an earlier decision by the Fed to buy up $400 billion in Treasuries to ensure lower borrowing costs.

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Mortgage Rates Largely Unchanged This Week. Again

Mortgage rates remained largely unchanged this week as debt crises in Europe drag on, with finance leaders and heads of state there seemingly unable to broker a solution. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac and finance Web site Bankrate.com each released separate surveys chronicling lurches in interest rates for loans. Bankrate.com also fielded record lows for jumbo 30-year fixed-rate mortgages, with rates for the loan falling to 4.68 percent for the first time in the history of the survey.

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