Rates mixed at weekly US Treasury bill auction with 6-month bills at highest level in 6 years

WASHINGTON – Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday’s auction with rates on three-month bills declining, while rates on six-month bills rose to their highest level in more than six years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $28 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.140 per cent, down from 0.145 per cent last week. Another $26 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.350 per cent, up from 0.330 per cent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.135 per cent two weeks ago on Nov. 9. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.370 per cent on April 13, 2009.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,996.50, while a six-month bill sold for $9,982.40. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.142 per cent for the three-month bills and 0.356 per cent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, edged down to 0.49 per cent last week from 0.50 per cent the previous week.