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China Five-Year Rate Swaps Climb to 16-Month High on Inflation

China’s five-year interest-rate swaps climbed to a 16-month high after consumer prices rose more than economists expected.

Inflation quickened to a seven-month high of 2.5 percent in December, more than the median 2.3 percent rate forecast in a Bloomberg survey, data showed today. Trade figures yesterday showed overseas sales increased 14.1 percent from a year earlier, the most since May, adding to signs of a pickup in the world’s second-largest economy.

“The exports number surprised on the upside, fueling expectations that the Chinese economy will fare reasonably well,” said Frances Cheung, a strategist at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong. “This morning’s CPI number adds to inflation expectations, which drives up the longer-end rates.”

The five-year interest-rate swap, the fixed cost to receive the seven-day repurchase rate, climbed five basis points to 3.77 percent in Shanghai, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It touched 3.84 percent earlier, the highest since September 2011.

The People’s Bank of China said in a report last month that containing inflation will remain one of its top policy objectives this year along with stabilizing growth, rebalancing the economy and controlling risks in the financial system. Central bank adviser Chen Yulu said this week that inflation may become a concern in the second half of the year.

The seven-day repurchase rate, a gauge of interbank funding availability, dropped 19 basis points, or 0.19 percentage point, to 2.73 percent, according to a weighted average compiled by the National Interbank Funding Center. It touched 2.70 percent, the lowest since Dec. 13.

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