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imageNEW YORK: Interest rates on US 30-year mortgages fell back near three-year lows in step with benchmark Treasury yields, prompted by concerns about a slowing US economic expansion, mortgage finance agency Freddie Mac said on Thursday.

The average 30-year mortgage rate was 3.43 percent in the week ended Aug. 4, down from 3.48 percent in the previous week, Freddie Mac said in its latest mortgage rate survey.

In early July, the 30-year mortgage rate hit a three-year low at 3.41 percent, 10 basis points above the record low set in November 2012, according to Freddie Mac.

Applications to refinance existing mortgages had surged a three-year high last month before they fell as rates turned higher. Refinance activity was still up 55 percent from a year ago.

"Mortgage rates have been below 3.5 percent every week since June 30. Borrowers are taking advantage of these low rates by refinancing," Freddie Mac chief economist Sean Becketti said in a statement.

US 10-year Treasury yield last traded at 1.489 percent early Thursday following a government report released last Friday that showed US gross domestic product grew 1.2 percent in the second quarter, far slower than the 2.6 percent forecast among analysts polled by Reuters.

The 10-year yield was 1.511 percent a week earlier in advance of the GDP report. On July 6, it hit a record low of 1.321 percent, Reuters data showed.

Copyright Reuters, 2016

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