Rates rise on short term Treasury bills

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WASHINGTON _ Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday’s auction to their highest levels since late last year.

The Treasury Department auctioned $28 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.540 per cent, up from 0.530 per cent last week. Another $34 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.645 per cent, up from 0.620 per cent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.555 per cent on Dec. 27. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.660 per cent, also on Dec. 27.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,967.39, while a six-month bill sold for $9,986.35. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.656 per cent for the three-month bills and 0.548 per cent 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, stood at 0.81 per cent on Friday, up slightly from 0.79 per cent at the start of last week.