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Interest rates higher on short-term Treasury bills

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

The Treasury Department auctioned $17 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.875 percent, up from 4.825 percent last week. An additional $15 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 4.900 percent, up from 4.885 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since the bills averaged 4.905 percent on Nov. 27. The six-month rate was the highest since 4.935 percent, also on Nov. 27.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,876.77 while a six-month bill sold for $9,752.28.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, edged up slightly to 4.96 percent last week from 4.95 percent the previous week.

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