Asian Shares Mostly Higher After China’s Rate Cut

Asian stocks rose broadly on Thursday as the upward pressure on yields eased and China underscored its diverging monetary and economic picture by cutting benchmark mortgage rates.

Inflation concerns on the back of climbing oil prices along with a greater risk of a conflict flare-up between Russia and Ukraine kept underlying sentiment cautious to some extent.

Chinese shares ended on a flat note, giving up early gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped as much as 3.42 percent to 24,952.35 after China’s interest rate cut to relieve the liquidity crunch.

Japanese shares rebounded from a five-month low amid bets Chinese policymakers will ramp up easing in support of sectors hammered during months of regulatory crackdown and deleveraging.

The Nikkei average rallied 305.70 points, or 1.11 percent, to 27,772.93 while the broader Topix index closed 0.98 percent higher at 1,938.53.

Video-game maker Konami Holdings jumped as much as 6.2 percent while Sony rose 5.8 percent and Nintendo added 2.8 percent. Toyota Motor and SoftBank Group both rose about 2 percent.

Shippers fell broadly, with Kawasaki Kisen losing 6.5 percent and Mitsui OSK Lines declining 5.3 percent.

Australian markets edged up slightly after data showed the country’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level in more than 13 years.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 9.90 points, or 0.14 percent, to 7,342.40, snapping a two-day losing streak. The broader All Ordinaries index ended up 12.30 points, or 0.16 percent, at 7,668.90.

Firm bullion prices helped lift gold miners, with Northern Star Resources and Resolute Mining climbing 11.4 percent and 4.4 percent, respectively.

Seoul stocks rose notably as investors hunted for bargains after the recent market plunge on concerns about inflation and higher interest rates. The Kospi average climbed 20.40 points, or 0.72 percent, to 2,862.68. Battery maker LG Chem soared 6.6 percent and Samsung SDI jumped 4.1 percent.

New Zealand shares fell sharply amid inflation fears and concerns over a looming Omicron outbreak. The NZX-50 index dropped 115.21 points, or 0.91 percent, to 12,497.10. Retirement village operators led losses, with Ryman Healthcare and Summerset Holdings tumbling 3.7 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively.

U.S. stocks ended in the red for the second straight session on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury yields hit fresh two-year highs amid Fed rate hike expectations.

The Dow and the S&P 500 dropped around 1 percent each, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite shed 1.2 percent to close in correction territory for the first time since last March.

Source: Read Full Article