South Korea falls 2%; China retains interest rate

On Monday, shares in the Asia-Pacific region were neutral as investors watched how the market responded to the publication of China’s most recent benchmark lending rates.

The Kospi, the regionally significant index, fell 2.04% to close at 2,391.03 in South Korea, leading losses among the region’s major markets. Shares of chipmaker SK Hynix and industry giant Samsung Electronics also saw declines of about 2% each.

The Shenzhen Component increased 1.265% to 12,487.13 while the Shanghai Composite in mainland China closed marginally lower at 3,315.43.

On Monday, China’s prime rates for loans with terms of one year and five years remained steady. That was in line with the prediction made in a Reuters poll, where the clear majority of participants believed that neither the one-year nor the five-year LPRs would change.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong increased 0.42% to end the day at 21,163.91. AIA’s life insurance company stock increased 1.32%. Just days before it was supposed to formally launch, Netease announced that the release of its highly anticipated video game Diablo Immortal in China will be delayed. This news caused the company’s shares in the city to drop 6.68%.

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