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Mortgage Applications Rose in U.S. for Second Straight Week

Mortgage applications in the U.S. increased for the second consecutive week as a drop in borrowing costs encouraged refinancing.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index of loan applications rose 2.2 percent in the week ended Jan. 7, figures from the Washington-based group showed today. Its refinancing gauge rose 4.9 percent, a second straight gain and the biggest since early November. Purchase applications fell.