Stocks mostly lower amid rate hike fears, China cuts LPR

Visitors stand in front of an electronic ticker at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday, Nov. 30, 2020.

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region were mostly lower on Monday as concerns over aggressive Fed hikes reemerged, but Chinese markets rose after China cut its benchmark lending rates.

The Shanghai Composite was 0.61% higher at 3,277.79, and the Shenzhen Component gained 1.19% to 12,505.68.

China’s central bank cut its one-year benchmark lending rate by 5 basis points to 3.65% and its five-year rate by 15 basis points to 4.3%.

“We think the asymmetric cuts … aim to support long-term borrowing and in particular mortgages, as overall credit supply remains ample while credit demand is sluggish,” analysts said in a Goldman Sachs Economic Research note Monday.

Elsewhere in Asia, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.6% in the final hour of trade.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan pared some losses but was down 0.47% at 28,794.5 and the Topix index slipped 0.1% to 1,992.59.

South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.21% to 2,462.5 and the Kosdaq lost 2.25% to 795.87.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia dipped 0.95% to end the session at 7,046.9.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan was 0.95% lower.

“Recent Fed speakers have been stressing the message that more rate hikes are coming given the fight against inflation has not yet been won,” Rodrigo Catril, a currency strategist at National Australia Bank wrote in a Monday note.

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Investors are looking ahead to the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole economic symposium which begins Thursday stateside.

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