BEIJING: China’s central bank refrained from injecting cash into the market, making a net cash withdrawal via open market operations for the third consecutive day on Wednesday. The People’s Bank of China conducted 180 billion yuan ($27 billion) of reverse repos, a process by which the central bank purchases securities from commercial banks through bidding with an agreement to sell them back in the future.
The injection was offset by 220 billion yuan in maturing reverse repos, leading to a net withdrawal of 40 billion yuan from the market. This came after a net withdrawal of 50 billion yuan Monday and 10 billion yuan Tuesday. Wednesday’s operations included seven-day reverse repos priced to yield 2.45 percent and 14-day contracts with a yield of 2.6 percent, both unchanged from previous operations, according to a central bank statement. In Wednesday’s interbank market, the overnight Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), which measures the cost at which Chinese banks lend to one another, climbed 2.82 basis points to 2.85 percent. The Shibor for one-month loans rose slightly to 3.88 percent. The central bank has increasingly relied on open market operations for liquidity management, rather than cuts in the benchmark interest rates or reserve requirement ratios. China set the tone of its monetary policy in 2017 as prudent and neutral, keeping an appropriate liquidity level but avoiding excessive liquidity injections.