The Chinese central bank pumped 120 billion yuan (19.6 billion U.S. dollars) into the money market on Thursday, following this year's first cash injection through reverse repurchase agreement (repo) operations on Tuesday. The central bank had stopped such operations for four straight weeks. Its last reverse repo operation, which came on Dec. 24, released liquidity worth 29 billion yuan to the money market. The yield for 21-day reverse repos stood at 4.7 percent, according to the central bank. The liquidity injection came as rates for the seven-day repo and the Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate surged on Monday. Rates for overnight and seven-day products both rose sharply on Monday to 4.3 percent and 6.6 percent respectively. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate (Shibor), a gauge of interbank lending rates, also increased sharply on Monday, with the overnight Shibor rising 107.1 basis points to 3.89 percent, and the seven-day and two-week rates gaining 155.3 points and 80.3 points respectively to hit 6.33 percent and 5.54 percent. Analysts said the central bank move aims to ease the liquidity pressure that builds up ahead of the Spring Festival, the most important Chinese traditional festival, which falls on Jan. 31 this year.