The central bank in Beijing said it would raise its benchmark rate 0.25 percentage points, lifting the one-year lending rate to 5.81 percent.
Sunday's move marked the second rate increase in a little more than two months. The bank last raised rates Oct. 20.
The move applied the brakes to a recent run-up on energy prices. February delivery light sweet crude oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange shed 58 cents to $90.93 per barrel. Heating oil prices lost 3 cents to $2.5108 per gallon. Reformulated blendstock gasoline prices lost 2.82 cents to $2.4144 per gallon.
Henry Hub natural gas prices added 1.7 cents to $4.10 per million British thermal units.
At the pump, the national average price of unleaded gasoline reached $3.042 per gallon from Sunday's $3.04, AAA said.
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