Shares in Asia up on China’s move to cut lending rates- BBC News

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Shares in Asia are largely expected to sit in positive territory on Monday after Beijing cut its one-year benchmark interest rate by 0.25% to 4.35%.

Beijing hopes that loosening its monetary policy, in the shape of cheaper money, will help it hit its growth target of 7% for 2015.

Last week, China reported its economic growth had slowed to a sixth year low.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 1.25% % at 19,060.11 in mid-mid morning trade.

Shortly after opening, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 0.76% at 23,322.81, while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.96% at 3,445.24.

Australia's benchmark index the S&P/ ASX 200 was up 0.24% at 5,364.60, and South Korea's, benchmark Kospi index was 0.22% at 2,044.15 points.

China's latest move is also expected to put further pressure on the US Federal Reserve to hold off on raising rates at their meeting this week.

'Big step forward'

Last week, news that the European Central Bank (ECB) is considering more economic stimulus, pushed shares in Asia higher – and analysts said China's move is expected to do much the same this week.

"China's central bank has trumped the ECB with an actual physical move to policy – cutting the one-year lending and deposit rate by 25 basis points (bps) and slashing the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 50 bps," said Evan Lucas from IG Markets.

"It also added furthers cuts to lending rates and the RRR for certain institutions (the co-ops)," he said.

The estimated cash released from these policy changes in China is likely to be between 600bn yuan and 700bn yuan in liquidity ($93.75bn to $109.3bn; £61.2bn to £71.3bn).

"Considering [China’s core inflation] reads and the industrial production reads over the past quarter, this should be no surprise," Mr Lucas said. "In fact, the surprise is that it's taken this long for the PBoC (People's Bank of China) to pull the trigger.

"What might be missed by the headline reads is that the PBoC has abolished the deposit rate ceiling – this is a big step forward in liberalising the interest rate market and shows China is very much committed to its goals of liberating the financial system," he said.

Investors will also be watching shares of China Reinsurance today – the biggest re-insurer on the mainland – as it makes its debut in Hong Kong. The firm has plans to raise as much as $2bn in what could be the biggest listing in the city since the share market turmoil earlier this year.

 

Published on: BBC News (October 26, 2015)