Asian Markets Mixed as China Cuts Loan Prime Rate By

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By Alex Ho – Asian markets were mixed on Thursday in Asia after China cut its loan prime rate (LPR) as expected.

China’s gained 0.5% by 10:59 PM ET (02:59 GMT). The rose 1.3%.

The 1-year LPR was reduced by 10 basis point, while the 5-year rate was reduced by 5 basis points, the People’s Bank of China announced today. The decisions were in line with expectations.

“The fundamentals of China’s economy have not changed,” the People’s Bank of China said. “China’s economy, however, also faces several challenges but will fend off major financial risks.”

On the coronavirus front, China’s National Health Commission reported an additional 114 deaths, and 394 new confirmed cases as of Feb. 19.That brings the total deaths in the mainland to 2,118 and the confirmed cases to 74,576 cases.

The lowered number of new cases were largely due to new measures introduced by Beijing that would allow Hubei to remove those in the “clinically diagnosed” category, according to CNBC.

Japan’s rose 0.4%.

The dropped 0.6% as cases of coronavirus jumped to 82 on Thursday in South Korea. The country had only confirmed 31 infection yesterday.

Down under, Australia’s climbed 0.3% after data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the seasonally adjusted in January rising to 5.3% from a reading of 5.1% in December.

Shares of airline Qantas Airways Ltd (ASX:) surged more than 5% after the company said it is reducing its capacity to Asia amid ongoing an coronavirus outbreak.

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