Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Tuesday's action for a third straight week.
The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.060 percent, up from 0.055 percent last week. An additional $24 billion was auctioned in six-month bills at a discount rate of 0.115 percent, up from 0.100 percent last week.
The government has hit its current borrowing limit of $14.3 billion. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is removing investments from two government employee pension funds to clear room to continue with regular debt auctions. However, he has warned that by around Aug. 2 he will have exhausted the bookkeeping maneuvers he can make.
The three-month rate Tuesday was the highest since three-month bills averaged 0.065 percent on April 25. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.130 percent on April 4.
The discount rates indicate 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 $9,994.19. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.061 percent for the three-month bills and 0.117 percent for the six-month bills.
The weekly bill auction took place on Tuesday this week rather than Monday because of the Memorial Day holiday.
Separately, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year Treasury securities, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, was unchanged last week at 0.19 percent, the same as the previous week.