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T-bill rates rise but remain near record lows

Associated Press / May 17, 2011

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WASHINGTON — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in yesterday’s auction but still remain close to historic lows.

The Treasury Department auctioned $27 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.030 percent, up from 0.025 percent last week. Another $24 billion was auctioned in six-month bills at a discount rate of 0.070 percent, up from 0.065 percent.

The three-month rate was the highest since three-month bills averaged 0.050 percent two weeks ago. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.100 percent, also on May 2.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,999.24 while a six-month bill sold for $9,996.46. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.031 percent for the three-month bills and 0.071 percent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills fell to 0.18 percent last week, from 0.20 percent.