SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China’s central bank cut its new benchmark lending rate on Wednesday for the third time since its debut in August, as widely expected, as the authorities move to lower financing costs to the real economy.

The one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was lowered by five basis points to 4.15% from 4.20% at the previous monthly fixing. The five-year LPR was also lowered by the same margin to 4.80% from 4.85%.

All 64 respondents in a Reuters snap survey on Tuesday expected a reduction in the one-year LPR. Thirty-seven respondents also expected another cut in the five-year LPR.

The LPR is a lending reference rate set monthly by 18 banks. The People’s Bank of China revamped the mechanism to price LPR in August, loosely pegging it to the medium-term lending facility rate.

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