SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade, with China slashing its benchmark lending rate for the first time in more than one-and-a-half years.
China on Monday announced a cut in its one-year loan prime rate from 3.85% to 3.8% — the first such move since April 2020. Majority of traders and economists in a Reuters poll had expected cuts to the loan prime rate.
Australian stocks declined, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.31%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.56% lower.
Investors will also continue to track the spread of the omicron Covid variant, with the World Health Organization recently warning that the number of cases is doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community spread.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.641 after recently climbing from below 96.