Asia stocks rise; China is keeping the key rate unchanged

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SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks rose Monday morning as China left its key rate unchanged over the weekend.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.03% in early trading, with stocks in conglomerate Softbank Group up more than 2%. The Topix index gained 0.94%. South Korea’s Kospi was also up 0.25%.

Meanwhile, stocks in Australia changed little in morning trading as the S&P / ASX 200 was largely unchanged.

MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.11%.

China kept the one-year lending rate (LPR) unchanged at 3.85%, largely in line with expectations of traders and analysts in a Reuters quick poll. The five-year LPR was also held constant at 4.65%.
The LPR is a reference interest rate for loans, which is set monthly by 18 banks.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, hit 90.29 after falling over 90.9 recently.

The Japanese yen was trading at 105.52 per dollar, stronger than above 106 against the greenback in the middle of last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7881, its highest since March 2018, after jumping around $ 0.776 at the end of the week.

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