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Rates rise at weekly US Treasury bill auction

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction with rates on three-month bills climbing to the highest level in more than eight years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $39 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.780 percent, up from 0.760 percent last week. Another $33 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.905 percent, up from 0.890 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.900 percent on Oct. 27, 2008. The six-month rate was the highest since these bills averaged 0.910 percent two weeks ago on March 13.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,980.28 while a six-month bill sold for $9,954.25. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.792 percent for the three-month bills and 0.922 percent 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, stood at 1.00 percent on Friday, down slightly from 1.01 percent at the beginning of last week on March 20.