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Interest rates on short-term Treasury securities fell in Friday's auction to their lowest level in nearly 2 1/2 years.

The Treasury Department sold $10.0 billion in three-month bills at an average discount rate of 6.52 percent, down from 6.78 percent on Monday. Another $10.0 billion was sold in six-month bills at an average discount rate of 6.57 percent, down from 6.77 percent earlier this week.

The auction, which normally would have been held next Monday, was pushed up to Friday because of Christmas Eve.

The new investment rates are 6.72 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,835.20 and 6.89 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,667.90.

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