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Rates on US Treasury bills rise to highest level 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 $30 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.745 percent, up from 0.515 percent last week. Another $24 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.835 percent, up from 0.670 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.900 percent on Oct. 27, 2008, during the financial crisis. The six-month rate was the highest since those bills averaged 0.840 percent on Nov. 17, 2008.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,981.17, while a six-month bill sold for $9,957.79. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.757 percent for the three-month bills and 0.850 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 0.98 percent on Thursday, up from 0.80 percent on Feb. 24.