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30-year mortgage rate declines to 4.37 pct.

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:29 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 18, 2013 9:30 a.m. CDT

WASHINGTON – Average rates on U.S. fixed mortgages declined this week as concern waned in the financial markets over the Federal Reserve's possible slowing of its bond purchases this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average on the 30-year loan slipped to 4.37 percent. That's down from 4.51 percent last week but is still near the highest level in nearly two years.

Just two months ago the rate was 3.35 percent, barely above the record low of 3.31 percent. Rates had surged in recent weeks amid concern over the Fed's bond purchases, which have kept interest rates low.

The average on the 15-year mortgage fell to 3.41 percent from 3.53 percent.

Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week the Fed will continue to stimulate the economy, even after it begins to slow the bond purchases.

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