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U.S. mortgage applications sagged last week: MBA

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Applications for U.S. home mortgages tumbled last week as demand for loan refinancing sagged, an industry group said on Wednesday.

The Mortgage Bankers Association said its seasonally adjusted index of mortgage application activity, which includes both refinancing and home purchase demand, fell 4.5 percent in the week ended Feb 17.

The MBA's seasonally adjusted index of refinancing applications gave up 4.8 percent, while the gauge of loan requests for home purchases slipped 2.9 percent.

The refinance share of total mortgage activity dipped to 80.1 percent of applications from 81.1 percent.

Fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 4.09 percent, up 1 basis point from 4.08 percent the week before.

The survey covers over 75 percent of U.S. retail residential mortgage applications, according to MBA.

(Reporting By Leah Schnurr; Editing by Diane Craft)