Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed as PBoC leaves benchmark lending rate unchanged

Asia Markets: Asian markets mixed as PBoC leaves benchmark lending rate unchanged

20 May    Finance News

Asian markets were mixed in early trading Wednesday, following losses on Wall Street and as the world braces for a long economic recovery.

Japan’s Nikkei NIK, +1.02% rose 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -0.09% slipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.45% retreated 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.64% inched down 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, +0.19% gained 0.2% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.27% , Singapore STI, -0.93% , Malaysia FBMKLCI, +0.02% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.48% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.15% was about flat.

Earlier Wednesday, the People’s Bank of China left its benchmark lending rate unchanged, as expected, and Japan’s machinery orders showed a strong rebound from the previous month.

“Asian stocks look content to trade in a modestly negative range today, as traders book profits after the recent strong rally, awaiting further direction from Europe and the United States,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior Asia-Pacific market analyst for Oanda, in a note.

In Tokyo, shares of Sony Financial Holdings 8729, +23.47% skyrocketed after Sony Corp. 6758, -2.82% said it would absorb the unit through a $3.7 billion tender bid. Sony already owns about 65% of the financial business. In Hong Kong, Lenovo shares 992, +3.42% surged after the PC maker reported a sharp drop in quarterly profit, but pointed to an expected rise long-term demand for computers and data centers as more people work and attend classes online.

On Tuesday, the Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School predicted that the global economy would lose as much as $82 trillion over the next five years. The report said the mid-range forecast calls for $26.8 trillion, or 5.3% of five-year GDP, to be lost.

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Stocks fell on Wall Street on Tuesday, after a report cast doubt on Moderna’s MRNA, -10.41% coronavirus vaccine candidate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.58% fell 390.51 points, or 1.6%, to end at 24,206.86, near a session low, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -1.04% shed 30.97 points, or 1.1%, to finish at 2,922.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.53% declined 49.72 points, or 0.5%, to close at 9,185.10.

West Texas Intermediate crude CLN20, +0.59% was down slightly, while Brent crude, the global benchmark BRNN20, +0.80% , ticked up.

The dollar USDJPY, +0.11% rose slightly to 107.72 yen..

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