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Rates on short-term Treasury bills mixed in auction

WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in yesterday's auction with rates on six-month bills dipping slightly and rates on three-month bills climbing to the highest level in more than five years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $15 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.955 percent, up from 4.905 percent last week. Another $14 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 5.090 percent, down from 5.110 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 4.980 percent Jan. 29, 2001. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 5.055 percent two weeks ago.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,874.75 while a six-month bill sold for $9,742.67.

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 5.27 percent last week from 5.24 percent the previous week.

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