Daily Market Update 3/17/10

Mortgage rates inched lower Wednesday morning. Yesterday the Fed left rates unchanged and offered no surprises, saying that “economic conditions, including low rates of resource utilization, subdued inflation trends, and stable inflation expectations, are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period.” In economic news, the February Producer Price Index (PPI) declined -0.6%, below expectations. The more closely-watched “Core PPI“, which excludes volatile food and energy components, rose 0.1%, as forecast. The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index fell 2.3%, while the refinancing activity index decreased 1.7%, in spite of lower mortgage rates. The average reported 30-year fixed rate last week was 4.91% with 1.30 points. No other data will be released today.

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