Daily Market Update 2/20/13

Mortgage rates inched higher Wednesday.  In economic news, the January Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 0.2%, slightly below expectations, and was 1.4% higher than one year ago.  Core PPI, which excludes food and energy components, increased 0.2%, matching forecast.  January Housing Starts fell 9% to an annual rate of 890,000 units, below the consensus of 910,000.  Building Permits, a leading indicator, rose 2% to the highest level since June 2008.  The Mortgage Bankers Association weekly purchase activity index declined by 1.7%, while the refinancing activity index dropped 1.6%.  The average reported 30-year fixed rate rose to 3.75%, not including fees.  Detailed Minutes from the January 30 Fed meeting will be released at 2:00 PM.

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