China to keep policy steady, push reforms


SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Sept 29 (Reuters) - China's central banksaid on Sunday that it would keep policy steady with timelyfine-tuning to cope with economic uncertainties while forgingahead with yuan and interest rate reforms.

China's economic performance and inflation remained stablebut there would be "difficulties and challenges" ahead, thePeople's Bank of China said in a statement after a regularmeeting of its monetary policy committee.

While maintaining prudent monetary policy, the central bankwill make pre-emptive and timely policy fine-tuning to helpstabilise economic growth, it said.

The central bank also pledged to push forwardmarket-oriented interest rate reforms and improve the currencyregime while keeping the yuan exchange rate basically stable.

Beijing has stepped up efforts to head off a sharp economicslowdown by quickening railway investment and public housingconstruction and introducing measures to help smaller companies.

Recent economic data has shown some of the impact of thosepolicies, with factory output in August hitting a 17-month highand retail sales growing at their fastest pace this year.

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