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China injects 200 bln yuan through 1-year MLF, rate unchanged

SHANGHAI, April 17 (Reuters) - China's central bank on Wednesday lent 200 billion yuan ($29.81 billion) to financial institutions via its one-year medium-term lending facility (MLF), with the interest rate unchanged, it said in a statement.

The interest rate for the one-year MLF was 3.30 percent, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) said, the same as the previous such operation.

A batch of such loans with a value of 366.5 billion yuan expired on Wednesday and markets had speculated how the central bank would respond.

In the same statement, the PBOC said it also injected 160 billion yuan through seven-day reverse repos into the market. With no reverse repos maturing, the central bank has drained a net 6.5 billion via open market operations on the day.

The central bank has been using the facility to channel funds more directly to sectors of the economy needing them most.

A total of 1.1855 trillion yuan worth of the loans is due to mature in the second quarter, according to Reuters calculations based on official data.

($1 = 6.7098 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Winni Zhou and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Kim Coghill)