Originally created 03/16/04

Rates rise in Treasury bill auction



WASHINGTON -- Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities rose in Monday's auction.

The Treasury Department sold $18 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 0.945 percent, up from 0.930 percent last week. An additional $16 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 0.990 percent, up from 0.975 percent.

The three-month rate was the highest since Sept. 2, 2003, when the bills sold for 0.970 percent. The six-month rate was the highest since Feb. 23 when the rate was 0.995 percent.

The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors - 0.961 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,976.10 and 1.008 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,950.00.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year constant maturity Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, fell to 1.16 percent last week from 1.23 percent the previous week.