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Interest rates rise on short-term Treasury bills

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 3.495 percent, up from 3.450 percent last week. Another $15 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 3.715 percent, up from 3.670 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 3.550 percent on July 16, 2001. The six-month rate was the highest since 3.860 percent on April 30, 2001.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sells for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the price for a three-month bill was $9,911.65 while a six-month bill sold for $9,812.19.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said yesterday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, rose to 3.82 percent last week from 3.76 percent the previous week.

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