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The Treasury Department sold $10 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 4.710 percent Monday, down from 4.905 percent last week. An additional $10 billion was sold in six-month bills at a rate of 4.495 percent, down from 4.770 percent.

The new discount rates understate the actual return to investors -- 4.835 percent for three-month bills with a $10,000 bill selling for $9,880.90, and 4.662 percent for a six-month bill selling for $9,772.80.

In a separate report, the Federal Reserve said Monday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, the most popular index for making changes in adjustable rate mortgages, fell to 4.69 percent last week from 4.80 percent the previous week.

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