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U.S.-China Roller Coaster Sends Mortgage Rates Way Down, Then Way Up

mattspeakman

It's been a tumultuous seven days, with mortgage rates ultimately settling near three-month highs.

Once again, the driving force behind these movements were trade discussions between the U.S. and China. Doubts surrounding the countries' tentative, preliminary October pact pushed bond yields down sharply on Thursday, sending mortgage rates on their steepest one-day decline in months. But these rate reductions were almost entirely reversed by Tuesday, after newfound optimism surrounding the talks – specifically, reports that both sides were considering rolling back some tariffs – propelled rates to their highest level since early August.

Economic data also contributed to Tuesday's upturn, with a key reading on the U.S. services sector beating expectations and easing investor concerns that recent manufacturing slowdowns were spreading into the much larger services sector. More crucial data are due in the coming days – particularly a key reading on consumer sentiment – but if this week is any indication, it's clear that trade-related developments will continue to drive mortgage rate movements for the near future.

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