Treasury bills edge up slightly in weekly auction

AP News
Posted: Jan 17, 2012 5:23 PM
Treasury bills edge up slightly in weekly auction

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose modestly in Tuesday's auction but remained close to record lows.

The Treasury Department auctioned $29 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.025 percent, up from 0.01 percent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.06 percent, up from 0.05 percent last week.

The three-month and six-month rates were the highest since Nov. 28, when three-month bills averaged 0.03 percent the six-month rate was 0.07 percent. Even with the modest increases, the rates are still hovering close to all-time lows first set on Nov. 7 of 0.005 percent for three-month bills and 0.035 percent for six-month bills.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,999.37 while a six-month bill sold for $9,996.97. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.025 percent for the three-month bills and 0.061 percent for the six-month bills.

The weekly Treasury auction was held on Tuesday rather than Monday because of the Martin Luther King holiday.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, edged down to 0.11 percent last week from 0.12 percent the previous week.