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Treasury bill rates increase

WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in yesterday's auction to the highest levels since 2001.

The Treasury Department auctioned $17 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 3.525 percent, up from 3.440 percent last week. The Treasury auctioned an additional $15 billion in six-month bills at a discount rate of 3.870 percent, up from 3.745 percent.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 3.550 percent on July 16, 2001. The six-month rate was the highest since 4.060 percent on April 16, 2001.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the price for a three-month bill was $9,910.90, while a six-month bill sold for $9,804.35.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 3.97 percent last week from 3.88 percent.

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