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Asian Stocks Mixed as China Slashes Benchmark Lending Rates

Asian markets were mixed in early trading Monday, after China cut its benchmark lending rates as expected. Nikkei dips, while stocks gain in Hong Kong and mainland China.

asia stocks mixed on april 20Photo: Asiatimes

China’s one-year loan prime rate was lowered by 20 basis points from 4.05% to 3.85%, while the five-year rate was cut by 10 basis points, from 4.75% to 4.65%. It was the second such cut this year, as China moves to support its wavering economy, which is trying to restart from a coronavirus-related shutdown.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was also seen in Japan, as data showed exports fell more sharply than expected in March.

Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.14%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index eased 0.19%. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.33, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite advanced 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped by 0.93, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan (-0.09%), Singapore (-0.49%) and Indonesia (0.43%) were mixed. Australia’s ASX 200 fell 2.12%.

U.S. stock futures were lower Sunday, as Wall Street braces for disappointing earnings reports. Dow futures were down 0.2% despite the best two-week stretch by the index in 82 years.

Crude’s woes continued, with the May futures contract for U.S. crude oil plunging more than 15% late Sunday, although Brent crude for June delivery, the global benchmark, dipped only slightly.

Source: Marketwatch

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