Money Briefs: UK inflation exceeds central bank's 2% target

UK inflation exceeds central bank's 2% target

LONDON • British inflation last month shot past the Bank of England's 2 per cent target for the first time since end-2013, potentially adding to uneasiness among some officials at the central bank about keeping interest rates near zero.

Consumer prices rose by a stronger-than-expected 2.3 per cent in annual terms, the biggest increase in nearly 31/2 years and up sharply from 1.8 per cent in January, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said yesterday.

The ONS said transport costs, which were pushed up by rising fuel costs, were the biggest driver of inflation in February. Food prices rose in annual terms for the first time in more than 21/2 years.


'Huge yuan boost' for financial system

BEIJING • China's central bank injected hundreds of billions of yuan into the financial system after some smaller lenders failed to repay borrowings in the interbank market, sources said.

Yesterday's injections followed missed interbank payments on Monday, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is not public.

The institutions that missed payments included rural commercial banks, sources said.

China's smaller lenders have been squeezed by a rise in money market rates this week, with the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate yesterday jumping to the highest level since April 2015.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria said the People's Bank of China may be sending a message to over-leveraged firms to rein in borrowing.


Chevron's sale of Chinese oilfield stakes 'stalls'

BEIJING • Chevron's sale of its stakes in Chinese offshore oil fields operated by state-owned CNOOC has stalled, sources said.

Bids that Chevron received for its interests in three fields in China's Bohai Bay did not meet its expectations, they said. Chevron had aimed to sell the assets for as much as US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion). 

The US oil and gas explorer is considering keeping the Bohai Bay holdings for now.

Oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell and BP have been looking to shed overseas assets to focus on their home markets.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 22, 2017, with the headline 'Money Briefs'. Print Edition | Subscribe