Asia Markets Mixed as Japan Drops Nearly 2%; China Keeps Benchmark Lending Rate Unchanged

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • China on Tuesday kept the one-year loan prime rate and five-year LPR unchanged at 3.85% and 4.65%, respectively.
  • That was in line with predictions from a majority of traders and analysts in a Reuters poll, who had expected no change to either.
  • Covid cases continue to climb in India, with 259,170 new daily infections registered on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as China kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged.

Stocks in Japan led losses among the region's major markets, with the Nikkei 225 falling 1.97% to close at 29,100.38 while the Topix index shed 1.55% to end its trading day at 1,926.25.

Mainland Chinese stocks also closed lower. The Shanghai composite shed 0.13% to 3,472.94 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.113% to 14,101.90. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was hovering around the flatline, as of its final hour of trading.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia closed 0.68% lower at 3,220.70. South Korea's Kospi ended the trading day 0.68% higher at 3,220.70.

Elsewhere, the Nifty 50 in India gained 0.1% at about 12:51 p.m. local time. India's coronavirus cases continue to climb, with 259,170 new daily infections registered on Tuesday.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.23%.

On the economic data front, China on Tuesday kept the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) unchanged at 3.85% and five-year LPR at 4.65%. That was in line with predictions from a majority of traders and analysts in a Reuters poll, who had expected no change to either the one-year or five-year LPR.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks declined from record levels as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 123.04 points to close at 34,077.63. The S&P 500 dipped 0.53% to finish the trading day stateside at 4,163.26 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.98% to close at about 13,914.77.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.922 following an earlier low of 90.88.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.32 per dollar after strengthening from above 108.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7814, having climbed from below $0.774 yesterday.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 1.3% higher at $67.92 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.04% to $64.04 per barrel.

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