WASHINGTON -- The Treasury today sold $17.01 billion of three-year notes at an average yield of 4.44%, down from the 4.40% incurred in the previous sale on Aug. 10.

The coupon rate was 4 3/8%, unchanged from the previous auction. The average price was 99.819.

The Treasury received $33.49 billion in bids for the notes and accepted those in a range of 4.42% to 4.46%, including $923 million of noncompetitive bids at the average return. The Treasury accepted 61% of the bids at the highest return.

The Treasury sold an additional $5.04 billion to government accounts and Federal Reserve banks for their own accounts in exchange for maturing securities. The additional notes were sold at the average price.

The notes will mature Nov. 15, 1996.

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