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After Calm Week, Rates Drop on Fed Meeting Minutes

Aaron Terrazas

Mortgage rates were flat for most of the past week – holding steady at their highest levels since September 2013, according to Zillow Mortgages data. They edged lower late Wednesday after meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) were released. Rates are still about 75 basis points higher than they were at the start of the year.

The minutes suggested that the committee remains committed to a gradual pace of withdrawal from the remnants of its crisis-era bond-buying program, rather than to a more aggressive pace that several recent speeches by Fed governors had suggested. The typical 30-year fixed mortgage rate quoted on Zillow stood around 4.45 percent as of Wednesday afternoon.

Today's release was the most important piece of incoming economic data before the long holiday weekend. While several key FOMC voters are scheduled to speak Thursday and Friday, the titles of their comments do not suggest any unexpected monetary policy news.

Early next week, markets are likely to pay attention to consumer confidence and private-sector employment data but, absent any major geopolitical shocks, their main focus next week will be on the May jobs report due a week from Friday.

 

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