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The following lists highlights from Chinese press reports on Thursday:

  • China's slower expansion in money supply and total social financing last month shown in data released on Wednesday was mainly because last year's numbers as the basis of comparison were unusually high in response to the pandemic, and the two-year average money and credit growths matched the pace of nominal GDP, the central bank's newspaper Financial News reported citing monetary policy advisor Wang Yiming. M2 rose 8.1% y/y in April, down from 9.4% in March, while TSF gained 11.7% y/y, down from 12.4%. Two-year average M2 and TSF growths were 9.6% and 11.9% accordingly, on par with data seen in pre-pandemic years, while medium and long-term loans increased by CNY660.5 billion, up CNY105.8 billion from last year, suggesting higher expectations for corporate investments in the coming months, Wang said.
  • Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told his government to better coordinate the commodities markets and track changes in both external and internal conditions to manage excessive price gains and impacts, Xinhua News Agency reported. Li requested monetary policies to be coordinated with other departments to ensure the stability of the economy, Xinhua said. The government also supports issuing at least CNY300 billion special bonds to boost small business lending and requests that the five large state-owned lenders boost microlending by 30%, Xinhua said.
  • China needs a counter plan to diversify imports from Australia given Canberra's escalating confrontation with its biggest trade partner, including plans to spend 270 billion Australian dollars over the next decade to upgrade defense, which may lead the country to surge deficits and "economic carnage," the Global Times said. The government-owned tabloid cited a media report that China ordered two importers not to buy Australian liquified natural gas next year. Without endorsing the report's authenticity, the newspaper said China may nonetheless seek diversification of its LNG imports.