Mortgage rates overcame a terrible Monday last week, climbing back to unchanged by Friday. And like most weeks this year, rates were volatile.
Most interesting about last week, though, was that there was a ton of news that should have dragged mortgage rates down, but it didn’t seem to happen.
- A popular inflation measure reached a 17-year high
- A petropolitical war erupted in Eastern Europe
- Whispers of more credit problems surfaced on Wall Street
Instead, a soaring U.S. dollar attracted global funds to Wall Street and a renewed demand for all things denominated in U.S. dollars, helping drive up prices in the mortgage bond market.
When mortgage bond prices move higher, mortgage rates move lower.
Like last week, the path of the dollar will likely determine in which direction mortgage rates move between today and Friday. If the dollar increases in value, mortgage rates should fall. And conversely, if the dollar decreases in value, mortgage rates should rise.
Of all the economic data hitting the wires this week, the only one of major importance is the Producer Price Index — a “Cost of Living” reading for American businesses.
Normally, we’d pay attention to the inflation-predicting PPI because inflation causes mortgage rates to rise. This month, however, we’re ignoring it. Oil prices have fallen 20-plus percent since July highs and the PPI reading from last month doesn’t reflect the “current marketplace”.
So, in the absence of hard data, mortgage rates should move with momentum this week. To follow along at home, keep your eyes on Bloomberg and stay close to your loan officer.
It’s during weeks like this that rates can really move.