China's benchmark lending rates were held steady this month, central bank data showed Monday after Beijing announced bold moves to address property-sector malaise.

The one-year loan prime rate was steady at 3.45% while the five-year rate was unchanged at 3.95%, according to the official data.

Economists had expected the benchmark rates to be left untouched after the People's Bank of China kept key policy rates, including the interest rate on the medium-term lending facility that is used to price LPRs, unchanged earlier this month.

The central bank is still likely to ease its monetary stance further as it needs more liquidity for the nation's banks to purchase government bonds, including the issuance of ultra-long special treasury bonds that started last Friday.

Meanwhile, Beijing on Friday announced fresh moves to address its prolonged property-sector downturn, including having local governments buy back unsold homes, lowering down payments for would-be home buyers, and removing the floor on mortgage rates that banks offer clients.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

05-19-24 2146ET