China’s central bank keeps benchmark lending rates unchanged

China’s benchmark loan rates remained unchanged this month, according to a statement released by the central bank on Tuesday, despite more signs of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

The one-year loan prime rate stood at 3.65% while the five-year rate was 4.3%, both unchanged for a fourth straight month, the People’s Bank of China said in the statement.

The loan prime rates are based on interest rates that 18 designated commercial banks charge their best clients and are calculated each month after proposed rates are submitted to the central bank.

Most new and outstanding loans in China are based on the one-year LPR, while the five-year rate is a reference for mortgage costs. China lowered both rates in August to support the sluggish economy.

Earlier this month, the PBOC kept its medium-term lending facility–a key policy rate that serves as a guide to any changes to the lending benchmarks–unchanged for a fourth straight month.

Tuesday’s announcement came after China’s top leaders pledged to shore up the country’s embattled economy in an agenda-setting meeting that concluded Friday, sparking hopes for further policy loosening.

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