Asia Mixed as China Unveils Prime Rates

Stocks in Asia were mixed on Tuesday, as the People’s Bank of China published its new loan prime rates which would result in cheaper borrowing costs for companies.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index gained 144.06 points, or 0.6%, Tuesday to 20,677.22

The Japanese yen traded at 106.46 against the U.S. dollar after touching an earlier low of 106.68.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index faded 60.30 points, or 0.2%, to 26,231.54. Hong Kong-listed shares of HSBC fell 1.2%

Australian markets advanced, with most sectors traveling upward.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) July meeting minutes, released on Tuesday, showed the central bank would consider further easing if evidence suggested “this was needed to support sustainable growth in the economy and the achievement of the inflation target over time.”

The RBA kept interest rates at all-time lows earlier in the month after easing by a quarter-point in both June and July.

The Australian dollar was at $0.6779 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6751.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 subtracted 3.36 points, or 0.1%, to 3,787.73

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) debuted its new loan prime rates (LPR) under a new mechanism that was unveiled over the weekend.
Some analysts have said the reform can be seen as a guided rate cut.

The new one-year LPR was set at 4.25%, as compared to 4.31% previously. The five-year LPR was at 4.85%.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index advanced 20.35 points, or 1.1%, to 1,960.25

In Taiwan, the Taiex gained 33.75 points, or 0.3%, to 10,522.50

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index added 7.5 points, or 0.2%, to 3,135.95

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 popped 101.36 points, or 1%, to 10,803.84

In Australia, the ASX 200 picked up 77.52 points, or 1.2%, to 6,544.96