Asian Stocks Robust After Chinese Interest Rate Hike
Asian markets took China’s surprise weekend interest rate hike in their stride on Monday, with stocks in Tokyo and Taiwan rising.
But overall trade was thin, with stock exchanges in HK and Australia closed for the holidays.
The PBOC’s Christmas Day move caught markets off guard, and weighed on commodity stocks in early trade; the Australian dollar also slipped.
But the Aussie pared losses and metal prices rebounded in Shanghai as investors welcomed the certainty after weeks of speculation.
The market also sees little overall impact on China’s demand for raw materials.
Chinese banking stocks and insurers rose in early trade, on hopes of bigger returns from higher loan rates and investments.
But they were trading lower in afternoon trade, dragging the Shanghai Composite down.
Tokyo’s Nikkei finished the day 0.7 percent up, while stocks in Taiwan added 0.4 percent.
Many economists believe this latest rate hike is good for the Chinese economy and corporate results in the long term, given current inflationary pressures.
But with controlling rising prices top of Beijing’s current agenda, interest rates are expected to rise a few more times over the course of next year, and it’s still unclear how profit margins and markets will be affected in the medium term.