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BEIJING, March 9 (Reuters) - Chinese banks extended 1.17 trillion yuan ($169.32 billion) in net new yuan loans in February, beating analysts expectations but trailing behind January's level, which was the second-highest ever.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted new yuan loans of 920 billion yuan, compared with 2.03 trillion yuan in January.
Broad M2 money supply (M2) grew 11.1 percent from a year earlier, central bank data showed on Thursday, missing forecasts for 11.4 percent growth.
Outstanding yuan loans grew at 13 percent by month-end on an annual basis.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected outstanding loans to rise by 12.7 percent.
China has cut its economic growth target to a more modest level of around 6.5 percent this year to give policymakers more room to push through painful reforms to contain financial risks and address a rapid build-up in debt.
But authorities are expected to move cautiously to avoid a sharp hit to the economy. ($1 = 6.9100 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk)