Rates on short-term Treasury bills mixed

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 3:11 PM

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction. Rates on three-month bills rose and rates on six-month bills fell to the lowest level in a month.

The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.065 percent, up from 0.060 percent last week. Another $31 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.165 percent, down from 0.170 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.075 percent on Oct. 26. The six-month rate was the lowest since those bills averaged 0.150 percent on Oct. 13.

Both three- and six-month bills remain at historically low levels as the recession has cut demand for credit among consumers and businesses. The rates also reflect an effort by the Federal Reserve to keep a key short-term borrowing rate at a record low in an effort to help the economy recover.

Fed officials wrapped up two days of discussion last week with an announcement that they planned to keep rates at exceptionally low levels for an extended period to provide more support for the wobbly economy.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.36, while a six-month bill sold for $9,991.66. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.066 percent for three-month bills, and 0.167 percent for 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, fell to 0.36 percent last week from 0.39 percent the previous week.