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Central bank conducts highest weekly liquidity injection in 10 months

Updated: Nov 17,2017 4:13 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s central bank injected a net 621 billion yuan (about $93.71 billion) into the market via open market operations this week to ease the liquidity strain, the largest amount in nearly 10 months.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) conducted 30 billion yuan of reverse repos on Nov 17, draining a net 10 billion yuan from the market as 40 billion yuan of reverse repos matured.

Despite the withdrawal, the central bank’s net cash injection via reverse repos this week reached 810 billion yuan. This brings the total weekly cash injection into the market to a 10-month high of 621 billion yuan as 189 billion yuan of medium-term lending facility (MLF) matured this week.

A reverse repo is a process by which the central bank purchases securities from commercial banks through bidding, with an agreement to sell them back in the future.

On Nov 17, the PBOC conducted 10 billion yuan of seven-day reverse repos priced to yield 2.45 percent, 10 billion yuan of 14-day contracts with a yield of 2.6 percent, and 10 billion yuan of 63-day contracts with a yield of 2.9 percent.

The central bank has injected more funds into the market this week as maturing reverse repos and due tax payments put pressure on liquidity near the end of the year. On Nov 15, it conducted a net injection of 220 billion yuan via reverse repos into the market.

The central bank has increasingly relied on open market operations for liquidity management, rather than cuts in interest rates or reserve requirement ratios.

China set the tone of its 2017 monetary policy as prudent and neutral, keeping appropriate liquidity levels but avoiding excessive liquidity injections.

Such a policy stance is crucial for China as it has to juggle the task of financial deleveraging, aimed at defusing risk and curbing asset bubbles, while shoring up the economy.