- Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade.
- China on Wednesday kept its one-year loan prime rate unchanged at 3.7%, while also holding steady on the five-year LPR at 4.6%.
- Investors have been watching for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to grapple with its worst Covid outbreak since the initial shock of the pandemic in 2020.
SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as China defied expectations by keeping its benchmark lending rate unchanged.
The Shanghai composite in mainland China fell 0.21% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.648%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, which fell more than 2% on Tuesday, gained 0.82%.
China on Wednesday kept its one-year loan prime rate unchanged at 3.7%, while also holding steady on the five-year LPR at 4.6%. A majority of the traders and analysts surveyed in a snap Reuters poll expected a cut in the loan prime rate this month.
Investors have been watching for signs of policy support from Chinese authorities as the mainland continues to grapple with its worst Covid outbreak since the initial shock of the pandemic in 2020.
“I really don’t expect, you know, they’re very keen to put on the rate cuts … in the near term,” said Eva Lee, head of greater China equities at UBS Global Wealth Management’s chief investment office.
China’s second-quarter growth rate is set to be weak, but authorities are likely to make moves toward ensuring sufficient liquidity in the system rather than flooding it, Lee told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Wednesday.
Stock picks and investing trends from CNBC Pro:
A brutal bond market sell-off wreaks havoc on one of fixed income’s most popular ETFs
Value investor Bill Nygren says he still believes in Netflix
Goldman says these stable stocks have room to run as the economy slows
The Nikkei 225 in Japan climbed 0.78% as shares of Fast Retailing jumped more than 2%. The Topix index advanced 0.88%.
Australian stocks also traded in positive territory as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.27%. South Korea’s Kospi sat below the flatline.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.6% higher.
Yen recovers partially against dollar
The Japanese yen traded at 128.57 per dollar, stronger as compared to an earlier low of 129.40 seen against the greenback.
The moves came after the Bank of Japan on Wednesday said it would offer to buy an unlimited amount of 10-year Japanese government bonds at 0.25%. The Japanese yen has been weakening for weeks against the dollar amid expectations the Bank of Japan will lag the U.S. Federal Reserve in normalizing monetary policy.
|.N225||Nikkei 225 Index||*NIKKEI||27217.21||232.12||0.86|
|.HSI||Hang Seng Index||*HSI||21142.06||114.3||0.54|
|.AXJO||S&P/ASX 200||*ASX 200||7571||5.8||0.08|
|.FTFCNBCA||CNBC 100 ASIA IDX||*CNBC 100||8808.81||69.45||0.79|
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 100.699 after earlier touching a high above 101.
The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7411, still lower as compared to levels above $0.745 seen last week.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures climbing 1.02% to $108.34 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.93% to $103.51 per barrel.
Source : CNBC