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Mortgage rates hit low of 4.36 percent

NEW YORK CITY — Mortgage rates fell to the lowest level in decades for the ninth time in 10 weeks as concerns grow that the economy is weakening.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan was 4.36 percent this week, down from 4.42 percent last week. That’s the lowest since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1971.

The average rate on 15-year fixed loan dropped to 3.86 percent from 3.90 percent the previous week. That’s the lowest on records starting in 1991.

Rates have fallen since spring as investors shifted money into the safety of Treasury bonds, lowering their yield. Mortgage rates tend to track those yields.