CHINA'S central bank this week withdrew the largest weekly amount of money from banks, revealing a tightening stance by the government.
The People's Bank of China issued 20 billion yuan (US$3.2 billion) repurchase contracts in four-week and three-month terms yesterday, bringing this week's withdrawal of liquidity to 910 billion yuan.
Analysts said the this week's repos are the first since June last year as the PBOC signaled a tightening monetary stance in line with government efforts to curb real estate prices and rein in inflation.
"Three quarters of the drainage reverses extraordinary liquidity injected into the system before the Chinese New Year, but about a quarter is aimed at liquidity tightening after money market rates declined recently,'' said Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist and strategist of Credit Agricole.
"Efforts to tighten liquidity go hand in hand with government's call on Wednesday to curb real estate prices as higher money market rates are negative for asset prices,'' he pointed out.
The seven-day repurchase rate, a key money rate measuring borrowing costs among banks, rose to 2.9980 yesterday, the highest since the market reopened from a week-long Spring Festival holiday. The rate was 2.9490 on Wednesday.
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