Rates at US Treasury bill auction climb to highest level since mid-October

WASHINGTON – Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Tuesday’s auction to their highest levels in four weeks.

The Treasury Department auctioned $33 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.075 per cent, up from 0.050 per cent last week. Another $29 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.095 per cent, up from 0.085 per cent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.130 per cent four weeks ago on Oct. 15. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.150 per cent, also on Oct. 15.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,998.10, while a six-month bill sold for $9,995.20. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.076 per cent for the three-month bills and 0.096 per cent for the six-month bills.

The weekly auction of three-month and six-month bills took place on Tuesday rather than Monday because of the Veterans’ 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, was 0.11 per cent last week, unchanged from the previous week.