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Chinese Stock Markets Losses in Asia; Bond Yields Rise on PBOC Statement

Stocks in Asia-Pacific mostly declined on Monday as China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged over the weekend.

Mainland Chinese stocks led losses among the region’s major markets as they closed lower, with the Shenzhen component down 3.072% to 15,336.05 and Shanghai composite 1.45% lower at 3,642.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.89%, as of its final hour of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 bucked the overall trend as it rose 0.46% to close at 30,156.03 while the Topix index ended its trading day 0.49% higher at 1,938.35. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.9% lower at 3,079.75.

Asia Hang Seng
Hang Seng Index One Year Chart Performance.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia finished its trading day 0.19% lower at 6,780.90.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 0.96% lower.

China kept the one-year loan prime rate (LPR) unchanged at 3.85%, largely in line with expectations of traders and analysts in a Reuters snap poll. The five-year LPR was also kept steady at 4.65%. The LPR is a lending reference rate set monthly by 18 banks.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7868 after a jump late last week from around $0.776. Earlier, the currency had risen to as high as $0.7908, its highest since early 2018, according to Reuters.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.359 after a recent decline from above 90.9.

Asia
US Dollar Currency Index

The Japanese yen traded at 105.69 per dollar, stronger than levels above 106 against the greenback seen in the middle of last week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.21% to $63.67 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also rose about 1.2% to $59.96 per barrel.