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China's central bank keeps medium-term interest rate

This emphasises the central bank's intention to maintain monetary stability

The People's Bank of China (Pboc, the country's central bank) left one of its key interest rates unchanged and withdrew some money from the banking system through a bond instrument. The medium-term interest rate (MLF) was left unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

Keeping the MLF rate unchanged underlines the central bank's intention to maintain monetary stability amid a fragile economic recovery and tempered market expectations about the timing of the Federal Reserve's (Fed) first interest rate cut this year. This is reported by Agencia CMA, a partner of TV BRICS.

Weakening inflation, slowing credit growth and lower exports in March pointed to the need for additional stimulus to revive the world's second-largest economy, analysts said.

In addition, the MLF rate serves as a benchmark for discounted lending rates (LPRs), and markets largely use the MLF rate as a precursor to changes in reference credit indices.

This month, 170 billion yuan (US$23.48 billion) worth of MLF loans expire, so the operation resulted in a net withdrawal of 70 billion yuan (US$9.67 billion) of funds from the banking system.

New bank loans grew less than markets expected in March compared to the previous month, while loan growth hit an all-time low.

Photo: iStock

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