China’s central bank cut bank required reserve ratios for the first time in almost three years on Wednesday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported. The ratio for big banks is set to be cut to 21% down from 21.5%, beginning December 5. The move is reckoned to release about RMB390 billion (US$61 billion) in bank funds available for lending. Many analysts see the move as a sign of broader monetary easing by Beijing, after strains on the property and trade sectors in recent months. “This is a big move,” said Stephen Green, China economist at Standard Chartered. “It signals China is now in a loosening mood.” Some Chinese officials had been obliquely hinting in recent weeks that economic tightening could be relaxed, following a spate of poor economic data.