Interest rates fall at weekly U.S. Treasury auction

Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

WASHINGTON Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Wednesday's auction to the lowest levels in two weeks.

The Treasury Department auctioned $32 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.075 percent, down from 0.085 percent last week. Another $28 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.120 percent, down from 0.130 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.040 percent on Dec. 17. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 0.090 percent, also on Dec. 17.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.10 while a six-month bill sold for $9,993.90. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.076 percent for the three-month bills and 0.122 percent for the six-month bills.

The auction for three-month and six-month Treasury bills, which normally occurs on Monday, was delayed this week so that the auction could occur after the New Year's holiday.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, edged up to 0.16 percent last week from 0.15 percent the previous week.

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