Action overseas is the driving force behind the movement in US interest rates this week. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan along with Middle East tension is having a greater impact than the prospects for the US economy is having on US bank rates including mortgage rates and CD interest rates. While the growing fear of inflation was the driving force for interest rates to start the year, market uncertainty due to changing world events is the new driving force.

Market uncertainty generally leads to the flow of funds towards safe harbors such as bonds and more specifically Treasury bonds, mortgage bonds and high rated corporate bonds. As a result, bank rates moved lower for the week ending March 11, 2011. Bank CD interest rates, savings rates and mortgage rates all moved lower on the week.

Treasury bond prices closed the week higher pushing Treasury rates lower. Mortgage rates matched that move with mortgage rates moderately lower for the week. Bank savings rates and money market rates dropped as the week came to a close. CD interest rates, which are the stickiest rates of the bunch, were almost unaltered on the week.

The composite CD rate index remained unchanged at 1.436 percent. The components of the index, three month CD rates, sic month CD rates, one year CD rates, two year CD rates and five year CD rates displayed mixed results with the longer term CDs up ever so slightly while the shorter term CDs were lower by a like amount.

The average rate on the ten best three month CDs had a yield of 0.730 percent, off just .004 percent for the week. The best six month CD rates lost only .002 percent with an average rate of 1.054 percent. One year CD rates had an average yield of 1.303 percent, down from 1.308 percent in the prior week. The best two year CD rates closed at 1.548 percent which is up by 0.002 percent. The top ten highest five year CD rates gained .005 percent to end the week at 2.547 percent.

Bank money market rates and savings rates dipped down to 1.148 percent from 1.159 percent in the previous week.

Mortgage rates were lower for the second consecutive week across all mortgage loan products survey by The average 30 year mortgage rate from the top bank mortgage lenders moved down by ten basis points or 10/100’s of a percent to 4.888 percent. The 15 year mortgage rates were also lower by ten basis points with an average rate of 4.184 percent.

FHA mortgage rates dropped eight basis points on the week with an average rate on the 30 year FHA loan ending at 4.775 percent. Jumbo mortgage rates had the largest rate reduction falling from 5.538 percent last week to 5.350 percent for the current survey week. 20 year mortgage rates gave back 11 basis points leaving the average 20 year term mortgage rate at 4.713 percent.

Credit card rates were moved higher by less than one basis point leaving the average credit card rate for new card offers ion the weekly survey at 13.70 percent for the third week. This week’s result showed the least amount of activity in the index this year with the vast majority of new credit card offers remaining unchanged.

Treasury rates were lower for all maturities this past week. The ten year Treasury rate was lower by nine basis points, ending the week at 3.40 percent. The five year gave up 11 basis points to close the week at 2.06 percent. The two year Treasury rate moved down to 0.64 percent from 0.68 percent. The six month Treasury rate dipped three basis points to end the week with a yield of 0.13 percent. For all of these maturities, the rates reached on Friday were the lows of the month.

The weekly bank rate survey included the following interest rate results for the week ending March 11th, 2011:

CD interest rates:
Composite CD interest rate index 1.436 percent (unchanged)
3 month CD rates 0.730 percent (down .004 percent)
6 month CD rates 1.054 percent (down .002 percent)
1 year CD rates 1.303 percent (down .005 percent)
2 year bank CD rates 1.548 percent (up .002 percent)
5 year CD rates 2.547 percent (up .005 percent)

Money market and savings account rates:
Bank money market rates and savings account rates 1.148 percent (down .011 percent)

Mortgage rates:
30 year mortgage rate 4.888 percent (down .107 percent)
15 year mortgage rate 4.184 percent (down .099 percent)
20 year mortgage rate 4.713 percent (down .112 percent)
30 year jumbo mortgage rate 5.350 percent (down .188 percent)
30 year FHA mortgage rate 4.775 percent (down .075 percent)

Credit card rates:
Credit card rates for new credit card offers 13.70 percent (unchanged)

Treasury rates:
Six month Treasury rate 0.13 percent (down .03 percent)
Two year Treasury rate 0.64 percent (down .04 percent)
Five year Treasury rate 2.06 percent (down .11 percent)
Ten year Treasury rate 3.40 percent (down .09 percent)

All bank rates are based on surveys conducted by at the close of March 11, 2011 with the interest rates obtained directly from the banks within the survey. Treasury rates are obtained directly from the Department of the Treasury.

Additional bank rate resources can be found at; 3 month CD rates, 6 month CD rates, 1 year CD rates, 2 year CD rates and 5 year CD rates, 30 year mortgage rates, 15 year mortgage rates, FHA mortgage rates, 20 year mortgage rates, jumbo mortgage rates, CD rates California, Best Interest Checking Accounts, Best Rates on CDs and Best Credit Card Rates.

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