Asian markets mixed after China promised economic support

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BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Tuesday after China pledged to speed up the rollout of policy changes to boost anemic economic growth. Shanghai won while Hong Kong went down. Tokyo and South Korea were unchanged at midday.

China’s cabinet planning agency promised on Monday to speed up easier lending and other policies, but did not announce any new spending. Economic growth sank to 2.5% from a year earlier in the second half, less than half the official annual target. The announcement could “provide a short-term boost” to sentiment, but investors “ultimately want to see a stronger recovery,” he said. IG’s Yeap Jun Rong in a report. The Shanghai Composite gained 1% to 3,232.24, while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 was unchanged at 28,618.62. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was down 0.2% at 19,188.25. Seoul’s Kospi was unchanged at 2,403.90 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gained less than 0.1% to 6,855.50. New Zealand retreated while Southeast Asian markets gained.

US markets were closed on Monday for Labor Day. European markets plunged after Russian gas giant Gazprom announced on Friday that the suspension of supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline would be extended indefinitely. This is on top of shortages in Germany and other economies.

Yang Yinkai, deputy director of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, said the agency will “accelerate the release of policy effectiveness” to “make up for the losses caused by the epidemic in the second period”.

The government has cut interest rates, given employers a break on rent and promised other aid to revive the economy after Shanghai and other industrial centers temporarily shut down to combat virus outbreaks. But major spending is being avoided, possibly for fear of re-igniting rising housing costs and debt that Chinese leaders worry is dangerously high. Also on Monday, Beijing released more foreign currency holdings from Chinese commercial banks for lending and trading by reducing the amount they held. must have in reserve.

The move reverses an increase imposed last year to limit speculative trading and curb a rise in China’s yuan exchange rate, which has since fallen. In energy markets, benchmark U.S. crude gained between $1.71 and $88.58 a barrel in electronic trading in New York. Mercantile Exchange Brent crude, used to price international oils, lost 81 cents to $94.93 a barrel in London. The dollar advanced to 140.48 yen from 140.46 yen on Monday. The euro rose to 99.49 cents from 99.31 cents.