The Central Bank of Qatar appeared to have cancelled a monthly auction of treasury bills as it resists upward pressure on market interest rates, news agency Reuters quoted commercial bankers as saying.

The central bank said in late December that it would sell three-, six- and nine-month treasury bills on 5 January. However that announcement was removed from its website yesterday without any explanation, and the central bank did not post results of an auction, Reuters reported.

Bankers said their bids had not been accepted at the auction so they believed the sale had been cancelled. The central bank did not respond to calls from the news agency seeking comment.

In the past three months, the central bank sold fewer bills than planned at its monthly sales and yields at the sales rose sharply. Bankers in the Gulf said a reduction in fresh oil and gas revenues flowing into bank deposits, because of low global energy prices, was pushing up money rates in the region.

In October, Qatar central bank chief Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud al-Thani said he saw no reason for Qatar to imitate any US rate hike. However, after the US Federal Reserve raised key rates in December four other Gulf central banks followed suit.

The Qatari central bank may have rejected all bids and cancelled Tuesday’s bill auction because it felt the bids were too high, Reuters cited bankers as saying.