February 11, 2019 / 2:08 PM / 6 months ago

MONEY MARKETS-Dollar LIBOR resumes fall to lowest level since November

Feb 11 (Reuters) - A key gauge of interbank borrowing costs on Monday fell to its lowest level since November, resuming its decline spurred by bets the U.S. Federal Reserve would not raise interest rates in 2019 and perhaps might even lower rates by year-end.

The London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) to borrow dollars for three months decreased almost 0.98 basis point to 2.68800 percent, the lowest level since Nov. 21.

Last Thursday, it tumbled about 4.1 basis points, which was the biggest one-day drop since a 5.5 basis point decline on May 21, 2009.

LIBOR is the benchmark rate for $200 trillion worth of dollar-denominated financial products, mainly interest rate swaps and floating-rate loans.

In December, LIBOR reached its highest in more than decade, propelled by rate increases by the Fed, rising U.S. government borrowing and a shrinking Fed balance sheet.

On Jan. 30, the Fed said it would be “patient” before ratcheting key lending rates higher. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the case for rate increases had “weakened” in recent weeks.

The U.S. central bank also signaled it was prepared to adjust the normalization of its balance sheet.

Reporting by Richard Leong Editing by Nick Zieminski

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