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

Asia Markets

Nikkei inches up while Hang Seng pulls back

Sony Corp. CEO Kenichiro Yoshida. Sony shares fell Wednesday after it announced it would absorb Sony Financial, which saw its shares surge on the news.


Bloomberg 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,
+0.79%

rose 0.7% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index
HSI,
+0.04%

slipped 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite
SHCOMP,
-0.51%

retreated 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite
399106,
-0.97%

inched down 0.3%. South Korea’s Kospi
180721,
+0.45%

gained 0.2% and benchmark indexes in Taiwan
Y9999,
+0.43%

, Singapore
STI,
-0.75%

, Malaysia
FBMKLCI,
+0.78%

and Indonesia
JAKIDX,
-0.05%

were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200
XJO,
+0.24%

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,
+23.33%

skyrocketed after Sony Corp.
6758,
-2.24%

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,
-0.68%

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.

Stocks fell on Wall Street on Tuesday, after a report cast doubt on Moderna’s
MRNA,
-4.36%

coronavirus vaccine candidate. The Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+1.19%

fell 390.51 points, or 1.6%, to end at 24,206.86, near a session low, while the S&P 500 index
SPX,
+1.29%

shed 30.97 points, or 1.1%, to finish at 2,922.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index
COMP,
+1.51%

declined 49.72 points, or 0.5%, to close at 9,185.10.

West Texas Intermediate crude
CLN20,
+2.53%

was down slightly, while Brent crude, the global benchmark
BRNN20,
+2.85%

, ticked up.

The dollar
USDJPY,
-0.13%

rose slightly to 107.72 yen..

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