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Sep 19, 6:40 PM EDT

Rates fall at weekly US Treasury bill auction

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills fell in Monday's auction with rates on three-month bills dropping to their lowest level in five weeks.

The Treasury Department auctioned $40 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.305 percent, down from 0.375 percent last week. Another $36 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.500 percent, down from 0.540 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since those bills averaged 0.300 percent five weeks ago on Aug. 15. The six-month rate was the lowest since those bills averaged 0.470 percent on Sept. 6.

The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,992.29, while a six-month bill sold for $9,974.22. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.309 percent for the three-month bills and 0.508 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, edged up to 0.61 percent last week from 0.57 percent the previous week.

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