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China holds key lending rates steady despite property downturn

Beijing focuses on regulatory easing over making mortgages cheaper

Work stopped two years ago at this Taiyuan, China, condominium construction site whose developer ran out of money. (Photo by Iori Kawate)

BEIJING -- The People's Bank of China kept loan prime rates unchanged for a fifth straight month Friday as the government sought to breathe new life into a sluggish property sector through a more targeted easing of restrictions.

The one-year loan prime rate, a benchmark for business lending, was left at 3.65%. The over-five-year rate, a benchmark for mortgages, stayed at 4.3%.

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