China's benchmark lending rates were kept unchanged, official data showed on Monday, in line with market expectations after key policy rates were held steady amid signs of economic recovery.

The one-year loan prime rate was kept at 3.45%, while the five-year rate was left at 3.95%, said the People's Bank of China.

The hold on LPR was widely expected after the PBOC left its medium-term lending facility rate unchanged last week. The MLF rate is used as a guide for LPR, which is set by 20 major banks in China.

China reported better-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter of the year, with gross domestic product rising 5.3% from a year earlier. Beijing has set an around 5.0% growth target for this year.

Stronger economic momentum makes any imminent easing less likely, despite some economists still seeing scope for more interest-rate cuts to aid the slumping real-estate sector.

Another consideration is the yuan, which like other Asian currencies, has been under great depreciation pressure amid a strengthening U.S. dollar. China's central bank reiterated its commitment to a stable currency last week, saying it is steadfast in its aim of keeping the yuan steady at a reasonable and balanced level.

Write to Singapore editors at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

04-21-24 2147ET