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U.S. mortgage applications edge up as loan rates drop - MBA

NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. mortgage applications picked up a bit last week as home borrowing costs fell to their lowest levels in nearly 17 months in step with a sharp decline to domestic bond yields, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday.

The Washington-based group's seasonally adjusted index on loan requests to buy a home and to refinance one rose 1.5% to 417.8 in the week ended May 31.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate "conforming" mortgages or loans whose balances are $484,350 or less decreased to 4.23%, which was the lowest since the first week of January in 2018. A week ago, they averaged 4.33%. (Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)