Rates fall at delayed weekly auction of 3-month and 6-month US Treasury bills

WASHINGTON – Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Tuesday’s auction. The weekly auction was delayed one day because of an error that occurred during systems testing.

The Treasury Department auctioned $32 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.075 per cent, down from 0.080 per cent last week. Another $27 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.100 per cent, down from 0.105 per cent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.050 per cent on Nov. 4. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 0.095 per cent on Nov. 12.

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 $9,994.94. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.076 per cent for the three-month bills and 0.101 per cent for the six-month bills.

Treasury normally holds the three-month and six-month bill auctions on Monday. However, this week’s auction was delayed after an error occurred during a systems test on Monday that impaired the government’s ability to take bids.