China central bank suspends reverse repos to drain liquidity

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-02-07 13:34

BEIJING - China's central bank suspended open market operations for a third-straight trading day Tuesday, in a further sign of policy tightening.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) withdrew 120 billion yuan ($17 billion) from the market on Tuesday, as 120 billion yuan of reverse repurchase agreements (repos) matured.

Reverse repos is a process by which central banks purchase securities from banks with an agreement to sell them back in the future.

"Liquidity in the banking system remains at a relatively high level. To maintain stable liquidity, the central bank will not conduct reverse repos Tuesday," according to a statement on the PBOC's website.

The move came after the central bank raised the interest rate on open market operation reverse repos by 10 basis points Friday.

It also raised the lending rates on its standing lending facility (SLF) short-term loans.

Analysts said such moves reinforced the view that the authorities are committed to containing capital outflows and reining in financial risks, as the economy stabilizes in an uncertain environment.

China reported 6.7 percent economic growth in 2016, lower than in recent years but within the target range.

China has set the tune of its monetary policy in 2017 as prudent and neutral, keeping an appropriate liquidity level but also avoiding excessive liquidity injections.

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