--- Peking will seine Geldpolitik stärker im Zaum halten, um eine Überhitzung der Wirtschaft zu verhindern: China's central bank has tightened monetary policy for the second time in less than three weeks, trying to put the brakes on bank lending and property speculation as top Chinese officials voice concern that the economy may be overheating. "Excessive growth in the supply of credit can initiate inflation or froth in property prices, which may eventually cause bad debts and increase financial risk," the central bank warned in a statement on Monday. The latest tightening takes the form of higher reserve requirements for banks. The action accompanied the release of figures late Sunday showing that China ran a trade deficit in March for the third month in a row. The deficit, though modest at $540 million, makes it more likely that China will continue resisting pressure from the United States, Europe and Japan to let its currency rise, even as Vice President Dick Cheney visits Beijing on Tuesday, economists said. The deficit may also make China more reluctant to compromise in Washington this month when it holds trade talks on semiconductors and other goods.


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