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Rates on US Treasury bills rise to highest in 8 years

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in Monday's auction to their highest levels in more than eight years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $39 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.790 percent, up from 0.780 percent last week. Another $33 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.910 percent, up from 0.905 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.900 percent on Oct. 27, 2008. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.990 percent on Nov. 10, 2008.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,980.03, while a six-month bill sold for $9,953.99. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.803 percent for the three-month bills and 0.927 percent for the six-month bills.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, stood at 1.03 percent on March 30, up slightly from 1.00 percent on March 24.