Asian markets were trading in the red today after China's central bank kept key lending rates unchanged. The move weakened stock market sentiment amid wide expectations of a rate cut as Beijing fights the fourth wave of Covid-19.
The People's Bank of China kept the rate on its one-year medium-term loan unchanged at 2.85 per cent.
The Asian economic giant is fighting its worst Covid outbreak since the start of the pandemic in late 2019, as it locks down key cities such as Shanghai. China's economic growth is seen as likely slowing to 5 per cent in 2022 as it takes a hit from the renewed Covid outbreak, a Reuters poll showed. That's below the government's target of 5.5 per cent.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.77 per cent or 25 points intraday to 3,200 in trade today. On Thursday, ahead of the decision on key lending rates, the index surged 1.22 per cent to 3225.64, anticipating a rate cut to support the pandemic hit economy.
The mainland China on Thursday reported 3,472 locally transmitted confirmed Covid-19 cases, besides 20,782 asymptomatic cases, according to the National Health Commission (NHC).
Japan's Nikkei slipped 1.42 per cent intraday to 26,784 against the previous close of 27,172. South Korea's Kospi slipped 1.16% intraday to 2685 today against the previous close of 2716.71.
Markets in Sydney, US, India, Manila, Bangkok and Hong Kong were observing holidays on Friday.
US markets closed lower yesterday as investors gave mixed reviews to earnings from four of the nation's largest banks.
The S&P 500 fell 1.2 per cent to 4,392.59, ending a shortened trading week with a 2.1 per cent decline.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.3 per cent to 34,451.23. The Nasdaq fell 2.1 per cent to 13,351.08.
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