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China banks leave key lending rate unchanged, following PBoC

(Sharecast News) - Chinese commercial lenders held benchmark lending rates steady, in line with the country's central bank decision to leave key policy rates unchanged. The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was held at 3.45% matching consensus forecasts, while the five-year rate, used as a reference for mortgages, was also kept at 4.2%.

The LPRs are based on the interest rates that 20 banks offer their best customers. The People's Bank of China one-year policy rate was kept unchanged at 2.5% last week.

"China is relying on fiscal policy to support growth this year, as it pursues an industrial restructuring strategy towards advanced manufacturing and away from over-reliance on the property sector," said Duncan Wrigley, chief China+ economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

"Still, a lending rate cut to boost private sector confidence is likely in Q1, following a coordinated round of deposit rate cuts by state-owned banks in December. Policymakers have signalled repeatedly that China will not resort to a credit-fuelled mega-stimulus this time."

Reporting by Frank Prenesti for Sharecast.com

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