WASHINGTON, Feb. 20 (Xinhua) -- U.S. fixed mortgage rates ticked up this week as the Federal Reserve stuck to its plan of gradually unwinding monetary stimulus, mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday.
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rose slightly to 4.33 percent in the week ending Thursday from 4.28 percent in the previous week, the U.S. mortgage giant said in its Primary Mortgage Market Survey.
The 15-year FRM, a popular guide for those looking to refinance, edged up to 3.35 percent this week from 3.33 percent in the prior week, the survey showed.
"Mortgage rates crept up further following the uptick in the 10- year treasury yield as minutes of the Federal Reserve's last meeting indicated little possibility of a pause in the central bank's reduction of bond purchases," said Freddie Mac's chief economist Frank Nothaft in a statement.
The Federal Reserve officials generally agreed to continue scaling back its pace of bond purchases as the U.S. economy picked up, according to the minutes of the Fed's January policy meeting released Wednesday.
The Fed last month decided to cut back further on its monthly asset purchases from 75 billion U.S. dollars to 65 billion dollars starting February, with the 10 billion dollars trimmed equally from mortgage-back securities and Treasury bonds.
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart predicted Wednesday that the central bank would continue to trim its monthly bond purchases at the current pace and end the stimulus program by the fourth quarter of this year.