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Rates fall at weekly US Treasury auction

WASHINGTON – Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Tuesday’s auction to their lowest levels in two weeks.

The Treasury Department auctioned $31 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.340 per cent, down from 0.350 per cent last week. Another $26 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.475 per cent, down from 0.480 per cent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since those bills averaged 0.275 per cent on May 16. The six-month rate was the lowest since six-month bills averaged 0.370 per cent, also on May 16.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,991.41, while a six-month bill sold for $9,975.99. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.345 per cent for the three-month bills and 0.483 per cent for the six-month bills.

The weekly Treasury bill auction, which is normally held on Monday, was held on Tuesday this week because of the Memorial Day holiday.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 0.68 per cent last week from 0.62 per cent the previous week.

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This story has been corrected to show that the auction and Federal Reserve statement came Tuesday, not Monday.