Rates on US Treasury bills rise at weekly auction

Markets Associated Press

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction to their highest levels in more than eight years.

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The Treasury Department auctioned $45 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.355 percent, up from 1.320 percent last week. Another $39 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 1.480 percent, up from 1.460 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 1.420 percent on Sept. 22, 2008. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 1.800 percent on Oct. 20, 2008.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,965.75 while a six-month bill sold for $9,925.18. That would equal an annualized rate of 1.379 percent for the three-month bills and 1.512 percent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 1.70 percent last Thursday, up from 1.65 percent on Dec. 8.