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US commercial paper supply jumps as year begins

[NEW YORK] The amount of US commercial paper jumped in early 2015, suggesting renewed demand for credit to finance payrolls and inventories, Federal Reserve data showed on Thursday.

US seasonally adjusted commercial paper outstanding rose US$78.6 billion to US$1.086 trillion in the week ended Jan 7.

More than half of the week's increase stemmed from a US$45.3 billion increase in issuance from domestic non-financial companies, to US$239.9 billion.

Commercial paper supply from foreign financial firms grew by US$38.1 billion, to US$292.7 billion.

Non-seasonally adjusted commercial paper outstanding - which some analysts consider a more reliable reading than the seasonally adjusted figure since it has been distorted by the financial crisis - rose US$60.2 billion, to US$990.6 trillion.

It has remained cheap for top-rated companies to raise cash in the commercial paper market.

For example, the average overnight borrowing cost for AA-rated non-financial companies to sell commercial paper was 0.09 per cent in the latest week, compared with 0.10 per cent a week earlier, the Fed data showed.

The interest rate on 90-day paper for AA-rated financial companies averaged 0.17 per cent in the latest week, unchanged from the prior week.