Mortgage rates rose this week, riding strong Chinese economic data to their highest levels in almost a month.
Weak data and concerns over slowing growth in China and Europe have been central to the patient economic approach taken by the Federal Reserve in recent months. But recent releases showing encouraging trends in Chinese lending, trade and economic growth after months of weakness emboldened markets to pursue riskier assets, pushing bond yields and mortgage rates upward.
Should favorable reports continue to roll in from overseas, additional modest rate increases would likely follow. However, rates remain well below the recent high-water mark they reached in the fall, and without evidence of a meaningful uptick in U.S. inflation, it is unlikely that mortgage rates will see substantial increases anytime soon.
Looking ahead, the markets' focus is sure to shift back to home soil, as important retail sales figures and a slew of housing data are on tap over the next few days.
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