China leaves loan prime rate unchanged at record lows By
2023-11-20 11:20:14

-- The People’s Bank of China kept its benchmark loan prime rate unchanged near record lows on Monday, as it continued to skirt the balance between fostering an economic recovery and preventing more weakness in the yuan. 

The PBOC kept its at 3.45%, while the , which is used to determine mortgage rates, was left unchanged at 4.20%. Both rates were at historic lows, after three cuts over the past year.

The LPR is determined by the PBOC based on considerations from 18 designated commercial banks, and is used as a benchmark for interest rates in the country.

The central bank was widely expected to keep the LPR unchanged, given that it had made no changes to medium-term lending rates last week. But the PBOC injected about 92 billion yuan into the economy on Monday. 

The PBOC had also injected about 600 billion yuan of liquidity into the economy last week, following a swathe of weak data prints for October.

China’s economy continued to struggle through October as dropped, slowed and the country once again slipped into . 

The PBOC has maintained its pace of liquidity injections to help foster economic growth. But investors have now called for more cuts to the LPR, given that the liquidity injections have provided limited support to the economy. 

Lower lending rates are also expected to help support the beleaguered property sector, which is facing a severe downturn in demand, while several major players are also grappling with potential debt defaults. The property market make up a quarter of China's economy, and has faced increased headwinds over the past three years.

But the PBOC has remained largely averse to further trimming rates, given Beijing’s growing discomfort with recent weakness in the . The currency had recently sunk to an over one-year low, facing growing pressure from high U.S. interest rates. 

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