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BANKING & FINANCE

<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Treasury Bill Rates Drop: The Treasury Department sold $13 billion of new three-month bills at an average discount rate of 5.73%, down from 5.74% last week. Another $13.1 billion of new six-month bills were sold at an average discount rate of 5.90%, down from 6.01%. The three-month bill rate was the lowest since it averaged 5.56% on Dec. 27. The six-month bill rate was the lowest since it averaged 5.86% on Nov. 28. The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors: 5.91% for three-month bills, with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,855.20, and 6.18% for a six-month bill selling for $9,701.70. The discount rate reflects the price discount received when government securities are purchased at less than face value.


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