Rates on US Treasury bills rise at weekly auction

AP News
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Posted: Jul 11, 2016 4:02 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction following steep declines in recent weeks.

The Treasury Department auctioned $37 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.310 percent, up from 0.270 percent last week. Another $32 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.390 percent, up from 0.340 percent last week.

Uncertainty about the global economy, amplified by Britain's surprise vote to leave the European Union, had spurred investors in recent weeks to embrace the relative safety of U.S. government debt — driving up the bonds' prices and slashing their yields to record lows.

The rate on three-month bills at Monday's auction was the highest since those bills averaged 0.340 percent on May 31. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.400 percent on June 20.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,992.16, while a six-month bill sold for $9,980.28. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.315 percent for the three-month bills and 0.396 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, edged up to 0.46 percent last week from 0.45 percent the previous week.