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Mortgage apps rise

WASHINGTON -- Mortgage applications in the United States rose for the first time in four weeks, as home purchases and refinancing picked up.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) index increased 1.9 percent in the period ended July 4 after falling 0.2 percent in the prior week, the Washington-based trade group reported Wednesday.

The gauge for purchase applications climbed 3.7 percent last week, while the refinancing index rose 0.4 percent.

The share of applicants seeking to refinance dropped to 51.6 percent from 52.5 percent the prior week.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose to 4.32 percent from 4.28 percent, while the average 15-year mortgage rate eased to 3.4 percent from 3.42 percent.

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