Japan drops nearly 2%; China keeps benchmark lending rate unchanged

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower in Tuesday morning trade as China kept its benchmark lending rate unchanged.

Stocks in Japan led losses among the region’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 falling 1.85% while the Topix index shed 1.21%.

Mainland Chinese stocks declined. The Shanghai composite dipped about 0.27% while the Shenzhen component slid 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.19%.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia also declined by about 0.34%.

Only South Korea’s Kospi bucked the overall trend to gain 0.49%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded fractionally lower.

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

Meanwhile, Covid cases continue to climb in India with 273,810 new daily infections registered on Monday.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks declined from record levels as the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 123.04 points to close at 34,077.63. The S&P 500 dipped 0.53% to finish the trading day stateside at 4,163.26 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.98% to close at about 13,914.77.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.052 following an earlier drop from above 91.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.24 per dollar after strengthening from above 108.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7783, having climbed from below $0.774 yesterday.


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