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Mortgage rates up on positive jobs report

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After holding steady through much of February and early March, rates on fixed-rate mortgage loans rose this week in the wake of reports that suggest the economy continues to mend.As investors' appetite for risk grows, they lose interest in mortgage-backed securities that fund most mortgage loans. The Federal Reserve is also contemplating whether to continue MBS purchases at the current $40-billion-a-month pace. Although the Fed is likely to continue its latest "quantitative easing" program for the time being, economists at Fannie Mae think rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans could be headed above 4 percent this year.Rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages averaged 3.63 percent for the week ending March 14, up from 3.52 percent last week but down from 3.92 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac said in releasing the results of its latest Primary Mortgage Market Survey. Rates on 30-year fixed-rate loans hit a low in Freddie Mac records dating to 1971 of 3.31 percent during the week endin...