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Asia’s influence on U.S. interest rates

Mortgage market commentary

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The interest-rate rocket ride concluded at the middle of last week, the definitive 10-year T-note one night reaching 5.34 percent in Europe -- versus 4.6 percent one month ago. The mortgage rate apogee did not quite touch 7 percent. The 10-year on Friday was trading a hair under 5.2 percent, and I think there are excellent reasons for faith in stability near here, low-fee mortgages about 6.75 percent. The week's economic data were benign, inflation still above the Fed's 2 percent target but ever-so-gradually abating. Overall economic activity is consistent with a second-quarter rebound from an awful first quarter, not upward-spiraling GDP: May retail sales shot ahead by 1.4 percent, but from a negative April; strong manufacturing reports slipped to flat in May, suggesting that passing strength was more pipeline filling than ramp-up. This dead stop in long-term Treasury rates at 5.25 percent has two sets of fingerprints: the Fed's cost of money is 5.25 percent, and the wo...