Just two days ago, we noted that according to Citi's Willem Buiter, there would be "Imminent Easing From Central Banks Of China, Australia, Japan And Europe." Fast forward 48 hours when he is already half right - not only did Europe confirm it is about to cut, but moments ago none other than China joined the global easing orgy when in a completely unexpected development as it happened on a Friday (we are scouring various databases to find the last time, if ever this happened) China announced it has cut not only its 1 year lending rate and 1 year deposit rate by 25 bps, but also its reserve requirement ratio by 50 bps.
- CHINA CUTS BANKS’ RESERVE REQUIREMENT RATIO
- CHINA CUTS INTEREST RATES
- CHINA CUTS 1-YEAR LENDING RATE BY 0.25 PPT
- CHINA CUTS 1-YEAR DEPOSIT RATE BY 0.25 PPT
- CHINA REMOVES DEPOSIT RATE CEILING FOR BANKS
- CHINA CUTS RESERVE RATIO BY 0.5 PPT
- CHINA INTEREST RATE CUT EFFECTIVE FROM OCT. 24
The PBOC's statement in its google-translated entirety:
People's Bank of China, from October 24, 2015, down financial institutions RMB benchmark lending and deposit interest rates, in order to further reduce the social cost of financing. Among them, one-year benchmark lending rate by 0.25 percentage point to 4.35%; year benchmark deposit rate by 0.25 percentage point to 1.5%; adjusted for each other grade benchmark interest rate loans and deposits, the People's Bank lending rates of financial institutions ; personal housing accumulation fund loan interest rates remain unchanged. Meanwhile, commercial banks and rural cooperative financial institutions are no longer set the upper limit of the floating interest rates on deposits, and pay close attention to improve the market-oriented interest rate formation and regulation mechanism, strengthen the central bank interest rate system of regulation and supervision, improve the efficiency of monetary policy transmission.
Since the same date, down financial institutions RMB deposit reserve ratio by 0.5 percentage points, in order to maintain reasonably adequate liquidity in the banking system, guide steady moderate growth of money and credit. Meanwhile, to increase financial support for the "three rural" and small businesses a positive incentive for additional standards-compliant financial institutions to reduce the deposit reserve ratio by 0.5 percentage points. (Finish)
And the comments the PBOC made in the aftermath of the surprise announcement:
- Central Bank will continue to monitor economic and price situations closely and use multiple tools to maintain liquidity at reasonable level, PBOC says in statement on website.
- China’s overall prices at relatively low level, and it provided room to cut benchmark rates
- China cuts reserve ratios to maintain banking system liquidity at reasonable and ample level
- Decreasing market rates and moderate rise in consumer prices provided environment and time window for China to remove deposit rate ceiling
- China’s current monetary policy remains prudent
S&P futures surge nearly 20 points on this latest scramble to ease, which is just the latest green light by central banks to take on more risk, and as a result fresh all-time highs in the S&P500 are now just a matter of time.
But the real take home message here is that both the ECB and the PBOC just confirmed a December Fed rate hike is suddenly in play once again, especially since this move by China should remove Yellen's conerns about Chinese growth.
Markets hope this time is different...