Market Extra: People’s Bank of China warns of downward pressure on economy

The People’s Bank of China on Friday said the Chinese economy was facing downward pressure in the central bank’s most recent update of its monetary policy implementation report, Reuters reported.

Increasingly, public concerns from Beijing’s financial watchdogs over China’s slowdown are likely to heighten investors’ fears over the strength and viability of the second-largest economy in the world. China’s gross domestic product slowed to 6.5% in the third quarter, its weakest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis.

The PBOC also on Friday said it would encourage financial institutions to increase lending to smaller, privately held businesses. This comes only a day after China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing said large banks would now divert a third of new lending to private firms, with small banks allocating two thirds of their lending to the private sector, according to local news sources.

He said the private sector only received 25% of the loans from China’s banking sector, even though it was responsible for 60% of the economy’s output.

Heightened signs of an economic slowdown in Beijing comes amid persistent trade tensions with Washington. Investors pointed to the stronger export numbers on Thursday as further evidence that Chinese exporters were front-loading their shipments ahead of an expected increase of tariffs from the U.S. that take effect on Jan. 1.

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are set to discuss trade relations on the sidelines of the G-20 summit later this month.

See: Here’s why a trade deal might not save China’s economy or emerging markets

Read: Why no one is popping champagne over China’s buoyant export data

Meanwhile, China released consumer price and producer-price inflation numbers early on Friday, showing a slight dip to 3.3% in PPI versus the previous month’s read at 3.6%, but stability in CPI at 2.5%.

The yuan fell. One dollar

USDCNY, +0.3259%

last bought 6.9569 yuan, up 0.3%, and 6.9482

USDCNH, +0.1700%

 in the more freely trading offshore market, up 0.1%.

Treasury bonds, which tend to draw haven demand during worries about the global economy, saw yields fall after the release of PBOC’s monetary policy report, with the 10-year Treasury note

TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.51%

down 2.6 basis points to 3.206%.

Bond prices move in the opposite direction of yields.

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Sunny Oh is a MarketWatch fixed-income reporter based in New York.

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