Asia Mixed as China Lending Rates Stay Put

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Wednesday as China’s benchmark lending rate was left unchanged.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 161.7, or 0.8%, to 20,595.15.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.71 per U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 107.5 yesterday.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong nosed up 11.82 points, or 0.1%, to 24,399.95.

Investors also watched for market reaction to a STAT News report released overnight that raised concerns about the trial results for a potential coronavirus vaccine from Moderna. That initial positive development had sent markets rallying earlier in the week.

The Australian dollar was at $0.654 after seeing an earlier low of $0.6523.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 sank 21.03 points, or 0.5%, to 3,935.22.

The moves came as China’s one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was left unchanged at 3.85%, while the five-year LPR stood pat at 4.65%. That was largely in line with expectations from a survey of traders and analysts, where a majority forecast no changes in either rate at the monthly fixing on Wednesday.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi added 9.03 points, or 0.5%, to 1,989.64

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index surrendered 19.39 points, or 0.8%, to 2,561.94

In Taiwan, the Taiex index advanced 47.36 points, or 0.4%, to 10,907.80

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 deleted 2.08 points to 10,788.06.

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved forward 13.53 points, or 0.2%, to 5,573.05.