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WASHINGTON — U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the average on the key 30-year loan reaching its lowest point in nearly three years.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the rate on the 30-year mortgage declined to 3.49% from 3.58% last week. The average rate hasn't been that low since October 2016. A year ago, it stood at 4.54%.

The average rate for 15-year, fixed-rate home loans slipped to 3% from 3.06% last week.

Mortgage rates have fallen sharply as a slowing global economy and tensions from the trade war between the US and China have caused interest rates on government bonds to tumble. The yields on government bonds influence long-term mortgage rates.

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