China cuts key mortgage reference rate as COVID-19 bites
China on Friday announced it would cut a key interest rate as the country fights to boost its virus-hit economy.
"The five-year loan prime rate (LPR) is 4.45 percent," China's central bank said on Friday, lowering the rate – on which many lenders base their mortgage rates – from the previous 4.6 percent.
The one-year loan prime rate, which guides how much interest commercial banks charge to corporate borrowers, remained unchanged at 3.7 percent.
Economic data this week highlighted the stark impact of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns in many major Chinese cities.
Figures on Monday showed retail sales and factory output last month slumped the most since the start of the pandemic, while unemployment edged back toward its February 2020 peak.
Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday called for government departments to "step up their sense of urgency" and said "new measures that can be used should be used" to prop up the world's second-largest economy.