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China could push U.S. interest rates higher

The wrecking ball swinging through the Chinese stock market has sent investors around the world scurrying for cover in the safe haven known as the U.S. Treasury market.

The result: Even as U.S. stocks take a beating, a key rate that influences the cost of many consumer loans briefly fell below 2% for the first time in four months. Investors were snapping up Treasuries, pushing up prices and pushing down yields.

In the short run, lower yields make it cheaper for Americans to buy big-ticket items such as new cars or refrigerators or to take out mortgages to buy a home. Businesses also benefits by paying less to borrow.

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