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Asian Pacific Stocks Mixed ,China Keeps Lending Rate Unchanged

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

Stocks in Japan led to losses among the region’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 falling 2.12% while the Topix index shed 1.64%.

asia markets
Nikkei 225 Index Performance Chart

Mainland Chinese stocks, on the other hand, rose by the afternoon. The Shanghai composite advanced 0.29%, while the Shenzhen component gained 0.451%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia also declined 0.56%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.44%.

Elsewhere, the Nifty 50 in India gained 0.75%. The country’s Covid cases continue to climb, with 273,810 new daily infections registered on Monday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.27% higher.

“This morning in Asia looks like a continuation of what we saw last night, where tech stocks got hit in the U.S.,” Mick McCarthy, Chief Markets Strategist, CMC Markets.

Mick McCarthy said that the falls in Japan were striking given the yen strength caused by the falling dollar, which would normally be supportive for Japanese stocks, adding he thought this would change one way or the other later in the day.

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 most traders and analysts in a Reuters poll, who had expected no change to either the one-year or five-year LPR.

Earlier, major Wall Street indexes drew back from record highs hit list week, with a big drag from Tesla Inc.

The electric car maker slid 3.4% after a Tesla vehicle believed to be operating without anyone in the driver’s seat crashed into a tree on Saturday north of Houston, killing two occupants.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.942, following an earlier low of 90.88.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.12 per dollar after strengthening from above 108.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7795, having climbed from below $0.774 yesterday.

Oil prices rose in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 0.82% higher at $67.60 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.84% to $63.91 per barrel.