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Bank of China rate decision: Central Bank of China again kept the benchmark rate at 3.65%

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China Central Bank rates

Bank of China rate decision: The People’s Bank of China (NBK, the country’s central bank) once again kept the benchmark interest rate on loans (LPR) for one year at 3.65% per annum. The rate for five-year loans remained at 4.3 percent per annum, the NBK said in a statement. Thus, the NBK did not change them for the fifth month in a row.

China Central Bank’s decision was expected, because earlier this week the Chinese Central Bank decided to leave the lending rate for the medium-term lending program (MLF) at 2.75% per year. The MLF is an important lending tool used by the Chinese Central Bank to provide liquidity to commercial banks and directly affects its main LPR rate. The Nikkei 225 also felt the impact of the Chinese market.

The NBK last changed the LPR rate in August. At that time, the rate on annual loans was cut by 5 basis points and the rate on five-year loans by 15 bps.

LPR became the new benchmark in August 2019 after the Chinese Central Bank’s interest rate reform. Beginning in 2020, the NBK requires banks to use the LPR as a benchmark when setting rates for new loans.

Also, the NBK continued to inject liquidity into the financial system through open market operations. The Chinese Central Bank provided banks with ¥62 billion in seven-day reverse repo transactions at 2% per annum and ¥319 billion in fourteen-day transactions at 2.15% per annum.

Earlier, we reported that German producer prices slowed to a 0.4% decline in December.

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Predicting recession probabilities in most markets declined

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do economists predict a recession

Predicting recession probabilities have fallen sharply from the highs of 2022, the JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) model shows.

In seven of the nine asset classes tracked by the model, from European stocks to investment-grade bonds, current quotes suggest recession chances are below 50%. The value of the S&P 500 suggests traders see a 73 percent chance of an economic downturn in the U.S., up from 98 percent last October, Bloomberg wrote, citing data from the bank.

Do economists predict a recession?

“Most asset classes are showing a gradual reduction in recession risks Thanks to the opening of the Chinese economy, the collapse in gas prices in Europe, and a more pronounced than expected slowdown in U.S. inflation,” said JPMorgan strategist Nikolaos Panikirtzoglu. — The market now sees a much lower likelihood of a recession than in October.”

Meanwhile, his colleague Marko Kolanovic warned that investors may be underestimating the potential pressure that a slowdown in U.S. economic growth could put on stocks in the coming months. At the same time, factors such as a decline in industrial production and retail sales, as well as a rally in the bond market and the Federal Reserve’s promise to keep rates high will play into the bulls’ hands.

Economists, on the contrary, have become more pessimistic-their consensus forecast calls for a 65% chance of a recession versus a 50% chance in October, Bloomberg notes.

Negative signals are also observed in the bond market — the yield on three-month US government bonds exceeds the yield on 10-year securities, indicating that investors are waiting for a slowdown in economic growth in the coming months.

On the other hand, many market participants are hopeful that the world’s central banks will be able to give the economy a soft landing — and it’s precisely because of such hopes that risky assets have rallied in recent weeks.

“I don’t want to say growth will be outstanding, I just think it won’t be a nightmare,” HSBC strategist Max Kettner told Bloomberg. — There are simply no catalysts to a decline and no unpleasant surprises, so the only way is up.”

Earlier we reported that the U.S. Treasury is going to use emergency measures because the national debt is getting closer to the ceiling.

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U.S. Treasury starts using emergency measures because of the approach of the state debt to the upper limit of debt obligations

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debt limit definition

Yesterday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress that her office had begun using emergency measures because the size of the national debt is approaching the upper limit of debt obligations. These measures will prevent a default in the next few months, notes MarketWatch.

According to the treasury secretary, “it is unlikely that the money and the emergency measures will be exhausted before early June.”

Late last week, Yellen warned in a letter to congressional leaders that the U.S. could reach the national debt ceiling on Jan. 19, and an increase or suspension of the limit is needed to avoid a default.

“Failure to meet the government’s obligations would irreparably harm the U.S. economy, the livelihood of all Americans, and global financial stability,” the document said.

The Debt Limit definition is the statutory limit on the U.S. government’s borrowing to pay its current obligations, including Social Security, Medicare, and military salaries. Currently, this limit is about $31.4 trillion.

Earlier we reported that the Central Bank of China again kept the prime rate at 3.65%.

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Economy

German producer prices slowed down to 0.4% in December

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German producer prices

German producer prices fell 0.4% month-on-month in December after falling 3.9% in November, according to data released by Destatis. Prices declined for the third month in a row, before which they had been rising continuously since May 2020.

On an annualized basis, the producer price index in Germany slowed to 21.6% from 28.2% in November. The DAX Index also rose.

Energy prices in Germany rose 41.9% year-over-year last month after rising 65.8% in November. Among them, natural gas increased in price by 52% (92.6% increase a month earlier) and electricity – by 46.8%.

The increase in the PPI index, excluding the cost of energy, was 12% in annual terms.

Manufacturers’ prices for intermediate goods rose 12.3%, including 10.8% for metals. The cost of consumer durables rose 11.9%.

Prices of nondurable consumer goods were 18.1% higher in December than in December 2021. Food products increased in price by 23.5%.

Earlier, we reported that Intel is cutting hundreds of jobs in Silicon Valley.

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