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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Asia Pacific stocks mixed as investors await release of China’s benchmark lending rate


Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade as investors await the release of China’s benchmark lending rate.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.42% while the Topix index gained 0.13%. South Korea’s Kospi was largely flat.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.81%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.18% lower.

The monthly fixing of China’s loan prime rate is set to be released at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday, with little expectation for the benchmark lending rate to change, according to a Reuters survey of traders and analysts.

Investors also watched for market reaction to a STAT News report released overnight that raised concerns about the trial results for a potential coronavirus vaccine from Moderna. That initial positive development had sent markets rallying earlier in the week.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 390.51 points, or 1.6%, to close at 24,206.86. The S&P 500 ended its trading day 1.1% lower at 2,922.91 while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5% and closed at 9,185.10.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.554 following its decline from levels above 100 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.88 per dollar after weakening from levels below 107.5 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.6548 after seeing highs above $0.655 yesterday.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.35% to $34.53 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also dipped 0.47% to $31.81 per barrel.

What’s on tap for Wednesday:

  • China: One-year and five-year loan prime rate expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN



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