Rates edge up at weekly Treasury auction

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2009 3:14 PM

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills edged up in Monday's auction but still remained near historic lows.

The Treasury Department auctioned $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.060 percent, up from 0.040 percent last week. Another $31 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.150 percent, up from 0.140 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 0.065 percent on Nov. 16. The six-month rate was the highest since 0.165 percent, also on Nov. 16.

Rates on three-month bills had fallen to the lowest point in 11 months last week while six-month bills dropped to the lowest level on record.

These rates have been hovering near historic lows for months, reflecting the Federal Reserve's efforts to keep interest rates low to strengthen the struggling economy.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.48 while a six-month bill sold for $9,992.42. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.061 percent for the three-month bills and 0.152 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, fell to 0.27 percent last week from 0.29 percent the previous week.