Asia Climbs as China Cuts Lending Rates

Markets in Asia-Pacific mostly rose on Thursday as China cut its key lending rates.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 recovered 305.70 points, or 1.1%, to 27,772.93.

Sony rose nearly 6%, after tumbling over 12% the day before after Microsoft on Tuesday said it was buying video game publisher Activision Blizzard for almost $69 billion.

Trade data on Thursday showed that Japan’s exports rose 17.5% in December compared to the year before — higher than the 16% expected in a Reuters poll.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.34 per U.S. dollar, strengthening from levels above 114.4 earlier.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong popped 824.5 points, or 3.4%, to 24,952.35, as tech and property stocks rose.

Tencent surged 6.6%, Alibaba jumped 5.88%, and Meituan soared 11%.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7237, rising from the $0.722 level.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 climbed 43.13 points, or 0.9%, to 4,823.51.

China on Thursday cut its one-year loan prime rate by 10 basis points, while its five-year LPR, which influences the pricing of home mortgages, was cut by five basis points, the first time since April 2020.

The rate cuts continue the People’s Bank of China’s efforts to push down borrowing costs.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index regained 20.4 points, or 0.7%, to 2,862.68.

In Taiwan, the Taiex index lost 9.18 points, or 0.1%, to 18,218.28

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index collected 10.88 points, or 0.3%, to 3,294.82.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 115.21 points, or 0.9%, to 12,497.10.

In Australia, the ASX 200 nicked higher 9.89 points, or 0.1%, at 7,342.39.

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