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China Keeps Benchmark Interest Rate the Same, as Anticipated

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A piggy bank with a 100 yuan bill inside on a black background.

China retained its benchmark interest rate the same on Friday for the 16th consecutive month but that did little to dim expectations authorities will boost stimulus to counter a slowdown in the economy.

Source: Trading Economics

CSI 300 Index down -1.91%, CNY USD down -0.01%

China kept the one-year loan prime rate at 3.85% and five-year LPR at 4.65%. About 78% of traders and analysts had predicted no change in either rate.

Figures this week pointed to a sharp slowdown in factory output and retail sales growth in July, backed by high raw material costs, new Covid-19 outbreaks, and floods.

Beijing boosted fiscal spending and kept liquidity in the financial system ample while staying clear of any aggressive monetary easing that could run the risk of creating asset bubbles.

Xing Zhaopeng, the senior China strategist at ANZ, projected another RRR cut later this year after the People’s Bank of China delivered a cut to banks’ reserve requirement ratio in July.

The PBOC expects to adopt a measured approach and make targeted cuts in the reserve requirement ratio of 50 bps in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022.

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