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Washington — Average long-term U.S. mortgage rates edged up this week after three straight weeks of declines. The key 30-year loan rate remained under 4 percent.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.94 percent from 3.91 percent a week earlier. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 3.17 percent from 3.13 percent.

A solid U.S. employment report for July out last Friday — with employers adding 215,000 jobs and the jobless rate steady at 5.3 percent — means there’s a strong chance that the anticipated interest rate increase by the Federal Reserve will occur next month.

The Fed has kept its key short-term rate near zero since the financial crisis year 2008.

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