Average rate on 30-year mortgage edges up to 4.16 pct.


WASHINGTON Average U.S. rates on fixed mortgages rose slightly last week but remained near historically low levels.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac says the average rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.16 percent from 4.10 percent last week, which was the lowest level in four months. The average on the 15-year fixed mortgage rose to 3.27 percent from 3.20 percent.

Rates have been falling since September when the Federal Reserve surprised investors by continuing to buy $85 billion a month in bonds. The purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low.

Hiring in the U.S. has slowed since the summer, when rates spiked after the Fed indicated it might reduce those purchases later this year. Many now expect the Fed won't taper until next year.