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Feb 21, 6:00 PM EST

Rates mixed at weekly US Treasury bill auction

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Tuesday's auction, with rates on three-month bills declining, while rates on six-month bills rose to their highest level in more than eight years.

The Treasury Department auctioned $34 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.535 percent, down from 0.540 percent last week. Another $28 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 0.670 percent, up from 0.645 percent last week.

The three-month rate was the lowest since three-month bills averaged 0.530 percent two weeks ago on Feb. 6. 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 $9,986.48, while a six-month bill sold for $9,966.13. That would equal an annualized rate of 0.543 percent for the three-month bills and 0.682 percent for the six-month bills.

The weekly auction, normally held on Monday, took place on Tuesday this week because of the President's Day holiday.

Separately, the Federal Reserve said Tuesday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, stood at 0.82 percent on Monday, down slightly from 0.84 percent on Feb. 14.

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