Asian Shares Mixed Amid Rate Hike Woes

asian mixed 22nov21 lt

Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday after a trio of Fed policymakers signaled that the topic of a faster taper might be on the table when the Federal Open Market Committee meets in December.

Worries about the global economy due to the resurgence of coronavirus cases and fresh lockdown measures in Europe also served to keep underlying sentiment cautious.

Chinese stocks rose notably as the country's central bank signaled possible easing measures to aid the economy's recovery.

In its latest quarterly monetary policy report, published on Friday, the People's Bank of China dropped previous phrases to "control the valve on money supply" and vowing not to "flood the economy with stimulus," signaling a shift in stance toward more supportive measures.

Earlier in the day, the People's Bank of China maintained its benchmark loan prime rates for the 19th consecutive month, as widely expected.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 21.71 points, or 0.6 percent, to 3,582.08, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index ended down 98.63 points, or 0.4 percent, at 24,951.34 after comments by advisers to the Chinese central bank about risks of "stagflation."

Japanese shares reversed early losses to end on a flat note. The Nikkei 225 Index finished marginally higher at 29,774.11, while the broader Topix closed with a negative bias at 2,042.82. Oil explorers led losses, with Inpex plunging 4.5 percent. Tech shares finished broadly higher, with Advantest rising 1 percent.

Australian markets ended lower, dragged down by banks, energy and travel stocks. The benchmark S&P/ASX200 Index dropped 43.40 points, or 0.6 percent, to 7,353.10, while the broader All Ordinaries index ended down 41.60 points, or 0.5 percent, at 7,688.30.

Banks ANZ, Commonwealth and Westpac fell around 2 percent each amid signs of a flattening of the yield curve.

Santos, Woodside Petroleum and Beach Energy lost 2-4 percent as oil extended declines amid fresh prospects of lockdowns in Europe and on signs the U.S., China and Japan are preparing to tap national crude reserves.

In the travel sector, Flight Centre slumped 7.1 percent, Corporate Travel Management lost 6 percent and Qantas gave up 4 percent.

Seoul stocks rallied after data showed South Korea's exports are poised to extend a run of double-digit gains in November.

The Kospi shot up 42.23 points, or 1.4 percent, to 3,013.25. Chip heavyweights led the surge, with Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix jumping 5.2 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.

New Zealand shares fell sharply as investors braced themselves for the Reserve Bank to hike the official cash rate later this week.

The central bank will release its November Monetary Policy Statement on Wednesday, with analysts widely expecting a 25 basis point hike in the official cash rate. The benchmark NZX-50 index fell 132.48 points, or 1 percent, to 12,607.64.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday amid signs of rising Covid-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe.

The Dow shed 0.8 percent to extend losses for the third straight session, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1 percent.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4 percent to reach a new record closing high as bond yields fell.

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