China Joins Global Easing Party By Cutting The Lending And Deposit Rates By 25 bps

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: 9:00 am has come and gone... and no global bailout unlike November 30, 2011. Not a good sign for those expect a central-bank D-Day.

While minutes ago the Bank of England followed in the ECB's footsteps, it was the China central bank that stole England's thunder, announcing an unexpected rate cut moments before 7 am, and thus finally joining the global easing party: this was the first Chinese interest rate cut since 2008. As a reminder, hours before the global central bank intervention on November 30, China announced its first (50 bps) reserve requirement cut since 2008. Is today's PBOC move, which is the first cut of deposit and 1 year lending rates also since 2008, a harbinger of something much bigger to come any second now?

From the PBOC:

The People's Bank of China decided to cut financial institutions RMB benchmark deposit and lending interest rates since June 8, 2012. One-year benchmark deposit rate cut of 0.25 percentage points, year benchmark lending interest rate cut by 0.25 percentage points; other deposit and lending interest rates and individual housing provident fund deposit and lending rates be adjusted accordingly.

 

Since the same day: (1) the upper limit of the floating range of interest rates on deposits of financial institutions was adjusted to 1.1 times the benchmark interest rate; (2) loans from financial institutions interest rate floating range of the lower limit was adjusted to 0.8 times the benchmark interest rate.

And from Bloomberg:

China Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008

China cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, stepping up efforts to combat a deepening economic slowdown as Europe’s worsening debt crisis threatens global growth.

The benchmark one-year lending rate will drop to 6.31 percent from 6.56 percent effective tomorrow, the People’s Bank of China said on its website today. The one-year deposit rate will fall to 3.25 percent from 3.5 percent. Banks can also offer a 20 percent discount to the benchmark lending rate, the PBOC said, widening from a previous 10 percent.

European stocks and U.S. index futures extended gains as China’s move fanned optimism that policy makers around the world will do more to bolster growth. The announcement, two days before China is due to report inflation, investment and output figures, may signal that the economy is weaker than the government expected.

“This will be the beginning of a rate cut cycle and there will be at least one more reduction this year,” said Shen Jianguang, a Hong Kong-based economist with Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. “The data to be released over the weekend must be very weak and inflation must have eased sharply.”

The MSCI All-Country World Index added 0.8 percent at 7:30 a.m. in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.2 percent, extending yesterday’s biggest rally in six months, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures advanced 0.7 percent.

Slower Growth

The central bank last reduced benchmark interest rates in late 2008, when the government unveiled a 4 trillion yuan ($586 billion at the time) stimulus package to counter the effects of the global financial crisis. Interest rates have been unchanged since an increase in July 2011.

Industrial output in China, the world’s biggest producer of steel and cement, probably rose 9.8 percent last month from a year earlier, close to the slowest pace in three years, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 27 economists ahead of a National Bureau of Statistics report due June 9.

Inflation may have moderated to 3.2 percent in May from a year earlier after a 3.4 percent rate in April, a separate survey showed, the fourth month consumer prices have risen by less than the government’s 2012 target of 4 percent.

Today’s move signals policy makers are concerned that the cost of borrowing is crimping companies’ spending and holding back expansion in the world’s second-biggest economy. Three bank officials told Bloomberg News last month that the nation’s biggest banks may fall short of loan targets for the first time in at least seven years as demand for credit wanes.
Slowdown Worsening

The PBOC cut banks’ reserve requirements in November for the first time in three years, and again in February and May, to spur lending.

China’s manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace in six months in May, a government report showed on June 1, adding to signs the nation’s slowdown is worsening. A separate purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics pointed to a seventh straight contraction, the longest stretch since the global financial crisis.

Premier Wen Jiabao and the State Council, or Cabinet, pledged last month to place greater emphasis on stabilizing growth after data showed April industrial production, new loans and exports all increased less than economists forecast. The data prompted banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. to cut their economic-growth estimates.

Slowdown Worsening

The PBOC cut banks’ reserve requirements in November for the first time in three years, and again in February and May, to spur lending.

China’s manufacturing expanded at the slowest pace in six months in May, a government report showed on June 1, adding to signs the nation’s slowdown is worsening. A separate purchasing managers’ index from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics pointed to a seventh straight contraction, the longest stretch since the global financial crisis.

Premier Wen Jiabao and the State Council, or Cabinet, pledged last month to place greater emphasis on stabilizing growth after data showed April industrial production, new loans and exports all increased less than economists forecast. The data prompted banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp. to cut their economic-growth estimates.