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Rates drop on short-term Treasurys

WASHINGTON - Interest rates on three-month and six-month Treasury bills dropped in yesterday’s auction after rising the previous week.

The Treasury Department auctioned $33 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.085 percent, down from 0.095 percent last week. Another $31 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.125 percent, down from 0.130 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.08 percent on Feb. 6. The six-month rate was the lowest since these bills averaged 0.10 percent, also on Feb. 6.

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The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,997.85, while a six-month bill sold for $9,993.68. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.086 percent for the three-month bills and 0.127 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, rose to 0.17 percent last week from 0.15 percent the previous week.