Dow Jones Newswires: China’s central bank keeps benchmark lending rates unchanged

China’s central bank on Monday kept its benchmark loan prime rates unchanged after trimming the official rates for two months in a row.

The People’s Bank of China Kept the One-year loan prime rate at 3.7%, while the five-year rate was 4.6%, both on par with the prior month.

The unchanged rates were widely expected after the central bank refrained from lowering interest rates on its medium-term lending facility, a monetary tool that is used to price LPR. In January, the PBOC cut the five-year LPR by 5 basis points and the one-year LPR by 10 basis points, after it lowered the one-year LPR by 10 basis points in December.

Economists expect Beijing to trim its benchmark loan rates again this year to provide a bigger support for the economy, which faces increased downward pressure from a property slump and sluggish domestic demand.

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